Change of asset efficiency in EU agriculture: challenges for new members
Efficiency of farm assets is a very important factor of competitive production. It is in strong correlation with profitability of economic activities. One of the most important factor of the farm assets is the fixed assets, especially machinery. As it could be observed during the 1980s and 1990s on the farms of developed countries, the technical development was a considerable factor of farming. During that period the technical supply of farms increased significantly, at the same time the farm labour decreased, so the labour productivity rose considerably. This paper, based on the data of FADN, focuses on the investigation of some figures of the European Union for asset and labour efficiency between 1989 and 2005, and analyses what happened after 2004 when 10 new member countries accessed to the EU. The most important results of the research are that the farms of the new member countries are equipped at a considerably lower level in general and at the same time they use farm assets less efficiently than farms of the former member countries, and the result is that the competitiveness of the farms of new members is significantly lower. On the other hand, in the new member countries the agricultural policy focused on developing arable farming, so the gaps in the labour productivity are narrower in the field crop farms than in horticulture or animal husbandry. The gap in the labour productivity is the widest at the large-scale farms, which can be explained not only with less assets but with lower capital efficiency as well.
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