Within the branch of horticultural production, vegetable forcing can play a very significant role in the future employment of the rural labour force, due to its less seasonal employment and high workforce demand. Taking the ecological endowments of Hungary into consideration the farms of the South Great Plains may play a decisive role in this. During our research we examined eight model hydro-cultured vegetable forcing farms that are competitive due to their income-generating capacity and are suitable for further development. We concluded that pepper forcing farms of 1 ha generated €138,980 SGM, tomato forcing farms €129,486 SGM and cucumber forcing farms €121,641 SGM. By dividing the Standard Gross Margin by €1,200 we found that the farms examined belonged to the 111.65 ESU size category in the case of peppers, 107.91 ESU in the case of tomatoes and 101.37 ESU in the case of cucumbers, so they can be regarded as rather large farms according to the standards accepted within the EU. Within the category of variable costs, an increase in the Standard Gross Margin (SGM) of viable farms of the right size (in the economic sense of the word) is possible by decreasing heating costs. In the model farms examined the heating costs of greenhouses heated by thermal water was 60% less than those using forcing equipment fuelled by coal. The increasing costs of thermal water (environmental protection fines, mine charges, fees for using water deposits) significantly undermines this global competitive advantage.


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