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Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics – National Research Institute (IERiGŻ-PIB), Warszawa, Poland,
Project Partners:
Research Institute of Agricultural Economics (AKI), Budapest, Hungary,
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CZU), Praha, Czech Republic,
Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra (SPU), Nitra, Slovakia,

The central-eastern EU model for competitive and sustainable agriculture and rural development

Project supported by


International Visegrad Fund Standard Grant No. 21510044
Implementation period of the project: 09/07/2015 – 31/05/2016.
Total IVF support: 8,000 EUR. IVF share on the total costs of the project: 64,8%

Agriculture in Europe is under the increasing pressure from globalisation, that is moving toward the standardisation of the production, based on economic competitiveness. At the same time, Europe 2020 strategy promotes the idea of sustainable, innovative agri-food sector based on resource efficiency, and rural development promoting social inclusion and job creation.

The project was aimed in exploiting intellectual and research resources in collective learning process during a seminar on possibilities of raising competitiveness in farming, agrifood sector and rural areas in V4 and CEE neighbourhood countries, Eastern Partnership (EaP) and Western Balkans (WB). The basic goal was to organise the research seminar confronting various approaches to agribusiness and rural development in the context of balance between competiveness and sustainability.

The XIII European Rural Development Network Conference took part in Zakopane, Poland, 18-21.10.2015 r. Check the AGENDA

Conference’s first day was devoted to various approaches to agri-food sector development in V4 and other CEE countries in the context of trade-off between competitiveness and sustainability. This also refers to the problem of inclusion of small and family farms in value chains and enhancing their financial stability, development of smart local food systems, provision of public goods by agriculture, knowledge and innovation transfer.
Second day turned its lens to rural systems, with a focus on smart, sustainable, inclusive growth in rural areas and the problem of rural jobs.
The added value of the project is be long- lasting and sustainable cooperation of all participants under the idea of European Rural Development Network as a think tank for science and public policy.

This event brought together researchers carrying out in-depth studies in the agrifood and rural development from V4 and its neighbourhood EU member states. We built a discussion forum of scientific community on central eastern model of transformation of rural systems with a particular focus on a knowledge transfer to V4 eastern neighbourhood. The seminar enabled exchange of experiences of scientific community of CEE countries. We focused on knowledge transfer supporting an institutional capacity and economic integration with EU of EaP countries. The added value of the project is a long-lasting and sustainable cooperation under the idea of European Rural Development Network as a think-tank for science and public policy.

Experts of all Visegrad Group countries indicated on the well-organized food industry, as a key element of the competitiveness of the agri-food sector. In addition to an efficient processing industry, an important role in all V4 countries is played by a large specialized agricultural holdings, that possess not only production potential, but also possibilities of implementation of the most modern production technologies, conducive to environment protection. In all countries an important segment of agriculture and rural areas make family farms. In expert’s opinion all CEECs can build theirs model of sustainable and competitive development of agriculture on local food systems (i.e. shortening the way the products from the farmer/local processor to the consumer), as a complementary strategy to supporting commercial farms.

The expected outcomes of the project, ie. to develop sustainable cooperation with all CEE seminar participants, proven by future activities within ERDN; to publish a scientific monograph (300 hard copies/wide online impact); to strengthen cooperation of V4 partners within ERDN and CzechRural have been achieved. In all period of the project two web sites were managed as project web sites: one: as a main conference site and  to keep the project sustainability within the ERDN community even after the project implementation period.

Visegrad feature of the project

The event strengthened a cooperation of all four project partners and enabled to integrate efforts and competencies of various CEE research centres in the jointly conducted work on the state and the paths of transformation of the rural systems under the ERDN. ERDN mission is to build Central Eastern European Research Area for agriculture and rural development, with Visegrad Group as a core, active in cooperation with the eastern neighbourhood of the EU. Therefore, apart from the widely disseminated publication, web site, press releases and participants’ individual cooperation, sustainability of the project is proved by further joint activities within the ERDN. Following the successful cooperation, the next scientific event that will be organised by AKI in 2016 within the same consortium.

This conference made also a strong basis for further cooperation within Visegrad Group aimed in wider participation of V4 countries in EU Horizon 2020 and other scientific programs.

Media coverage and outcomes


Communications in newspapers (PL/CZ):

Commentary on the Conference‚ written by Ing. Jiří Sálus, a member of and Czech University of Life Sciences, available on web page.

Conference proceedings are available in ERDN yearbook: P. Chmieliński, M. Soliwoda (eds.), Models of competitive and sustainable agriculture and rural areas in Central Eastern European Countries, Rural Areas and Development 13 (2016).

Thank you Project Partners and Organising Committee, thank you all Participants and Speakers, Chairs, Discussants and Panelists!! Thanks IVF for support! We had nice and fruitful time in Zakopane. Now, see you in Budapest, 2016!