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In the development of a market economy, the ability to cooperate is a major factor determining the competitiveness of economic actors. With complex instruments intended to stimulate cooperation among the actors in farming, the agri-food chain, forestry and rural development, strengthening cooperation is a priority of the Common Agricultural Policy in the current European Union programming period. This paper evaluates the development of different forms of vertical and horizontal cooperation between actors in Hungarian agriculture in the period 2007-2013. Our definition of cooperation is based on a regular market relationship,and our analysis includes not only formal forms of horizontal and vertical cooperation but also the informal networks offering business benefits for producers. The main conclusion is that, owing to the continuing low level of horizontal cooperation in Hungary, high-level vertical integration ensures that producers can achieve a favourable negotiating position, and this in turn reduces the potential for the development of horizontal cooperation. Informal relationships, such as doing favours without charge, are not negligible ways of accessing resources, especially for small farms. A development path for agricultural cooperation in Hungary might be for actors to make collective investments in order to increase value-added and utilise economies of scale, and to organise themselves into alliances, associations, networks and clusters. Beyond the benefits originating from market concentration, these steps could stimulate the dissemination of expertise, improve efficiency and increase innovation capacities.

Keywords: integrators ; Producer Groups ; Producer Organisations ; cooperatives ; clusters ; machinery rings

Subject(s): Agribusiness

Agricultural and Food Policy

Agricultural Finance

Crop Production/Industries

Farm Management

Financial Economics

Industrial Organization

Institutional and Behavioral Economics

Livestock Production/Industries


Production Economics

Issue Date: 2016-08

Publication Type: Journal Article

DOI and Other Identifiers: 1418 2106 (Other)

2063 0476 (Other)

PURL Identifier: Published in: Studies in Agricultural Economics, Volume 118, Number 2 Page range: 77-84

Total Pages: 8


Record appears in: Research Institute of Agricultural Economics > Studies in Agricultural Economics

Autor: Biró, Szabolcs ; Hamza, Eszter ; Rácz, Katalin


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