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The local, regional and global economic and natural phenomena of previous decades collectively emphasize the growing importance of risk factors affecting agricultural production both directly and indirectly. Agricultural producers should not restrict their risk management strategies to offset and relieve the problems caused by climatic and natural phenomena, but the knowledge of up-to-date professional, market, and agricultural policy developments is more and more an indispensable condition of successful farming. Besides what mentioned above, it is at least equally important to answer the question of how farmers perceive the importance of risk factors surrounding their activities, as it strongly influences the shaping of their risk management strategies. The responsibility of professional organizations and policy makers is easily shapeable in this sense because they may play an important role in the orientation and education of farmers, thus making it possible that farmers judge the importance of risk factors properly so they may work out adequate risk management strategies. The European Union has long been aware of the importance of the topic and makes great efforts to investigate the possibilities of an EU level risk management system. The “Design and economic impact of risk management tools for European agriculture” research project1 conducted under the aegis of the Sixth Framework Programme fits that objective. Within the project the authors of this paper explored the risk perception and applied risk management strategies of farmers in selected EU Member States.


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