Csaba Forgacs


The paper deals with developments and possible future of small farms in EU with special respect to EU 10 (Central East European Countries, CEECs) analyzing the structure of small farms by economic and area size on one hand and, their Standard Output (SO) as well as labor use (Agricultural Working Unit, AWU) and the farm manager aspect on the other. The main conclusions of the paper underline that importance of small farms in rural development cannot be neglected by policy makers, although, trends of development indicate certain differences in concentration in economic size, area size, standard output (SO) and engaged labor between CEECs. It was pointed out that decline of number of farms and that of small farms especially has continued between 2005 and 2010 more in EU 10 than EU 27 and more in case of farms with less than 2 ha (UAA) in EU 10. Decline was much higher in case of small farms run by managers over 65. Labor use also went back in small farms more in EU 10 than EU 27 and more in case of farms with UAA below 2 ha. Standard Output grew faster in EU 10 than EU27, however concerning SO of small farms below 5 ha a higher declined was observed in EU 10 in compare with EU 27. Brief evaluation on effectiveness of CAP in 2006-2013 programming period and future policy towards small farms for 2014–2020 was also discussed.

Keywords: small farms, rural development, Common Agricultural Policy, EU 10.

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