The profitability of apple production under the integrated plantation target programme
Keywords: income, expenses, apple, agro-environmental farming, sustainable farming
Thanks to agro-environmental farming programmes, apple producers can access surplus subsidies (388.24€ / ha.), provided they undertake to meet the requirements prescribed in the relevant laws (150/2004. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FVM) statute and amendments). Conforming to these rules, however, imposes additional expenses on the farmer, for example land survey and forecast costs, as well as increasing labour requirements. It is worth examining, therefore, exactly what proportion of expenses this denotes altogether and how it compares proportionally to the subsidy amount, as in the near future (2007-2014) the sector will only utilise subsidies targeting sustainable and environmentally-friendly farming if the producers deem it to be economically remunerative.
According to my investigations, the additional costs are 26,283 forints per hectare, while the potential subsidy is 97,740 forints. The difference could be spent, for example, on the development of forecasting tools, on supplementing the costs of employing specialists, generally on naturalising the development of sustainability, or on achieving numerous other advantages.
Loss of yield is not expected as a result of participation in the programme, neither is any significant decline in quality. At the same time, consumer confidence in the product will increase and, if the integrated production method is declared, its marketability will also improve.