University doctoral (PhD) dissertation abstract THE SITUATION AND ROLE OF RURAL RESOURCES IN THE ECONOMY OF HÓDMEZİVÁSÁRHELY MICRO-REGION - PDF

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University doctoral (PhD) dissertation abstract THE SITUATION AND ROLE OF RURAL RESOURCES IN THE ECONOMY OF HÓDMEZİVÁSÁRHELY MICRO-REGION Krisztián Kis Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Alajos Fehér UNIVERSITY OF

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University doctoral (PhD) dissertation abstract THE SITUATION AND ROLE OF RURAL RESOURCES IN THE ECONOMY OF HÓDMEZİVÁSÁRHELY MICRO-REGION Krisztián Kis Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Alajos Fehér UNIVERSITY OF DEBRECEN Karoly Ihrig Doctoral School of Management and Business Administration Debrecen, 2012 1. THE BACKGROUND, OBJECTIVES AND HYPOTHESES OF THE RESEARCH There have already been development programmes for Hódmezıvásárhely microregion, like Agricultural Structure and Rural Development Programme, LEADER+ programme for the micro-region, Local Rural Development Strategy ( ) and Micro-regional Development Programme ( ). Due to the lack of thorough scientific examinations no realistic account for natural resources has been done, the different relationships were not investigated and the sustainable growth path of rural economy was not determined. Therefore the competitiveness and sustainability, the stable well-being of the inhabitants as well as the population retaining ability and the ability to economically provide for population of the micro region is uncertain. A proper, relevant development programme must consider all the above-mentioned factors. I approached the topic from interdisciplinary point of view in my research, which follows from the features of the resources being comprehensive, colourful, involving several fields of science as well as the complexity of the rural economy. Within such frames the research had several difficulties since the examination of the resources required knowledge, skills, experience and data collection in numerous types of fields. This was real challenge, at the same time meant the beauty of the research for me. My research focuses on the investigation of the resources of the micro region, however it is not, cannot be extended to every possible aspect, considering the complexity of the topic. The principle objective of my research to classify, analyse and assess the local rural resources of the micro-region, to synthesize this knowledge, to find new relationships and create new knowledge in this field. My objectives connected to certain resources are the following: To present the situation and the direction of changes of the human resources of the micro-region, according to the hierarchy of human resources. To present and evaluate the characteristics of the soil as the main ecological feature determining the ecological endowments of a certain area. 1 To determine the total biomass-supply, of the micro-region, the amount of renewable (regenerable, reproducible) biomass, the amount of biomass actually suitable for energetic purposes. To investigate the landscape characteristics of the micro-region (landscape ecological matrix, patches and corridors, respectively ecological network) To present the land use features of the protected areas of national importance, and also the place and role of these territories in the micro-region. To analyse and evaluate the land use changes as results of the socio-economic processes. To assess the presence and occurrence frequency of the institutions supplying services to fulfil the demands in the settlements of the micro-region and to find out the role of the settlements in the settlement network system of the micro region, through their function. Furthermore to present the tighter and wider effect of the SZTE MFK (University of Szeged Faculty of Agriculture) providing educational and cultural services, on the human resources, to determine their educational catchment area and also the micro-regional characteristics of the experts graduated at the Faculty. To analyse the allocation of the grants provided by the operational programmes of the First National Development Plan (elsı Nemzeti Fejlesztési Terv = NFT I.) within the micro-region in the period of , and through that to evaluate the resource absorption ability of the micro-region and its settlements. To analyse the development process of the non-profit sector of the micro-region and to investigate its main structural and operational characteristics. To assess and determine the factors most hindering the development of the LEADER areas and the rank of importance of the tasks to be completed by the local action groups (LAGs). Connected to the latter, to summarize the impact mechanism and determinations of the LAGs operation. In connection to the above, my research was aimed to contribute to the activities of actors (local governments, civil organisations, private enterprises, development agencies and other institutions) in the micro-region so that they can form their strategy and organise their activity considering and using the results and the reliable achievements. In my opinion the development programmes, conceptions and strategies mentioned 2 earlier need further research at local level (settlement, micro-region), which can provide useful information for programming processes, and have crucial importance in the development of the local community. With regard to the above mentioned, together with the active involvement and co-operation of local actors an action programme can be implemented, which is built on local endowments as well as the possibilities of the past and present. Through making the economic and social activity more varied, it can improve employment, enhance the competitiveness of the micro region, increase the equality of chances, and help preserve the natural and cultural values, improve life quality and increase the population retaining ability. According to the objectives set out and the previously acquired knowledge and experiences in the micro-region, I formulated some hypotheses underlying the research. 1. The economy of the micro region and its internal resources are inseparable from Hódmezıvásárhely town. The dominance of the centre of the micro-region affects differentially the socio-economic processes, the direction and opportunities of development by resource groups. 2. The human resources are significantly differentiated by settlements, according to their position in the settlement hierarchy. Beside the general trends typical to Hungary and the South Great Plain Region several local speciality can be observed, which are also dominated by Hódmezıvásárhely. 3. The natural endowments and production site conditions provide favourable opportunities to the number of sectors (agriculture, tourism) in the micro-region s economy. The protected areas represent a significant potential. 4. Significant part of the agricultural production, which represents the dominant land use in the micro-region, can be used for energetic purposes. 5. Civil organisations have an important role in the society of the micro-region, as well as the institution of bottom-up, participatory-based, community-led local rural development, the LEADER local action group (LAG). 3 2. RESEARCH METHODS AND DATABASES The database and the applied methods of the research will be presented according to the examined resources. At first I briefly introduce the research area Delimitation of the research area My research area is the Hódmezıvásárhely micro-region (Fig. 1), which is situated on the left bank of river Tisza, in the central part of the South Great Plain Region and the eastern part of Csongrád County. The micro-region includes four settlements, covers an area of 708 square kilometres and has a population of around 58 thousand. The centre of the micro-region is Hódmezıvásárhely town, which ranked its county right status in Based on the administrative area of the town (488 km 2 ) it is the second largest settlement in Hungary after Budapest with a population of 47 thousand. Another (small) town of the micro-region is Mindszent, which was declared as town in 1993, with a population of Additional settlements of the micro-region are Mártély és Székkutas with a population of and They became independent villages from the former farm centers of Hódmezıvásárhely in 1950 after the administrative reorganization. Source: Own construction Figure 1: Location of the Hódmezıvásárhely micro-region and its settlements 4 2.2. Hierarchy-based investigation of human resources Investigations connected to the topic were carried out by the human resource system (Fig. 2) described in the work of Cloke and Park (1985). According to the authors mentioned above, rural people and the communities founded by them mean the first level of the human resources of rural areas. I examined civil organizations playing a decisive role in terms of rural communities in a separate chapter, among other resources. The second level of human resources can be interpreted as the accumulation of the first level of human resources formed by individuals and communities, involving rural settlements and labour pool. The needs related to lifestyle mean the third level of human resources, which play an indispensable role in the maintenance of first and second level of human resources. The investigation of settlements, the relevant institutions as well as their functions are dealt with in a separate chapter titled The functional analysis of settlements . PRIMARY (Basic resources) SECONDARY (Accumulated resources) TERTIARY (Life stile requirements) INDIVIDUALS AND THEIR COMMUNITY SETTLEMENT LABOUR POOL A C C E S S I B I L I T Y HOUSING EDUCATION HEALTH RETAIL SOCIAL EMPLOYMENT INCOME INFORMATION SERVICES Source: Drawn up after Cloke and Park (1985) and Fehér (2005) Figure 2: The human resource hierarchy To add contents to each level of human resources I relied on the study of Fehér (2005), who adapted Cloke and Park s human resources system in his research taking into account the peculiarities of the domestic rural economy. The data used for the research were provided by the database National Spatial Development and Spatial Organisation Information System (TeIR, 2011) of the Hungarian Regional Development and Urban Non-profit Company (VÁTI Kht.). Out of the database the spatial statistical data of Hódmezıvásárhely micro-region ( ), personal income tax (SZJA, 2009) and the data of the census in 2001 were available. I used Microsoft Excel spreadsheet programme for compiling the database of the research, for completing statistical and mathematical calculations and also for constructing tables and figures. 5 2.3. The investigation of the natural resources Considering natural resources, the analysis and evaluation of the most important soil characteristics soil type, soil water types, soil ph, soil organic matter reserves, the soil fertile layer of thickness and soil fertility largely determining the farming endowments the land use opportunities of the micro-region, were carried out in connection with the survey of landscape use. For the investigation of soil characteristics agro-topographic 1: scale (AGROTOPO) database, edited in the Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry Research Institute, was used. Then, the biomass potential used for the energy purposes was analysed adjusted to the specific place of the biomass types in the production-consumption chain (Láng et al., 1985), and the origin of biomass as a resource classification system (Bai, 2002). On this basis, the determination of the agriculture- and forestry-originated biomass potential of the micro-region was completed then taking into account the biomass potential of nonagricultural originated, municipal waste the total biomass supply, the reusable (regenerated, re-produced) biomass quantity and the actual biomass quantity recommended for energetic purposes were determined. The data used in the were provided by Csongrád County Land Office, the Central Statistical Office databases (the General Agricultural Census in 2000; Csongrád County Statistical Yearbook 2004, 2005; Agricultural Statistical Yearbook 2004, 2005), the Hódmezıvásárhely microregion Agricultural Structure and Rural Development Programme, the TeIR GIS database (TeIR, 2007), and also the second Chapter subsection ( The biomass potential of the waste generated in the micro-region) of the study The contexts of bioand renewable energy production and utilization in Hódmezıvásárhely area , my colleagues and I prepared together. The natural resources include the so-called ecological and biological resources as well, which I reviewed and evaluated in connection with the survey of landscape use. The reason of this that I examined natural habitats and the relationships between them among the ecological and biological resources and these are land use methods which methodologically are more related to the topic of landscape use. I note that beyond the above mentioned the concept of natural resources is much broader, so as I did not examine mineral resources of local significance, such as solar or wind energy, which as part of the local natural endowments pose additional benefits for development of the micro-region. 6 2.4. The investigation of the landscape as resource with regard to utilisation The landscape refers to both the land use and the scenery of an area. During the investigation of the micro-regional landscape as a resource its area and land use were in focus, therefore within the frame of that I did not detail and evaluate the visual and aesthetic values of the territory and no scenery analysis was made. To investigate the landscape structure and land-use the land cover database of the Institution of Cartography and Remote Sensing (FÖMI) CORINE Land Cover 1: scale (CLC50) was used. For the survey of the protected natural areas of national importance and the areas belonging to the National Ecological Network the databases of the Nature Conservation Information System (TIR) of the Ministry of Environment and Water (KvVM) were used. The data on level of settlements ( ) of the land use categories necessary to monitor the changes in land use was provided by the Csongrád Land Registry Office. The database necessary for the examination of the changes in land cover was downloaded from the European Environment Agency (EEA), European Environment Information and Observation Network (EIONET) CLC2000 website (http://etc-lusi.eionet.europa.eu/clc2000/) My studies were carried out along the three thematic priorities of the analysis of the European Topic Centre for Land Use and Spatial Information (ETC-LUSI) concerning the terrestrial environment (Fig. 3). Accordingly, I investigated the micro-regional characteristics of the soil (see at natural resources), land use and land cover. In the first step the land structure characteristics of the micro-region were surveyed using the land cover database (CLC50) and associated with that the ecological network of the microregion with the TIR database. The next step was to analyze the land use characteristics of the protected natural areas of the micro-region with TIR and CLC50 databases. Then, using land registry data as well as CLC50 and CLC2000 databases, the changes of land use was investigated with regard to land use categories and land cover and the nature of the changes was determined based on the changes in land cover. To process and display geographic data the ArcGIS9/ArcMap9.2 GIS programme, while to process the information extracted from digital databases Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program was used. 7 Source: EIONET (http://etc-lusi.eionet.europa.eu/), ( ) Figure 3: The thematic priorities of the assessment of terrestrial environment Regarding the protected natural areas the survey of their position and role in the microregion was investigated. The primary information necessary for the research was collected with in-depth interviews as a qualitative method. These in-depth interviews were compiled based on a pre-determined list of questions in the November-December months 2006 (on four occasions). To represent the concerned settlements the interviewees ranged from the mayor, deputy mayor or theme-competent experts from the mayor's office (environmental executive, town management administrator). In case of the protected areas the territorially (Körös-Maros National Park and Kiskunság National Park) competent nature reserve managers helped. There were separate series of questions for the interviews of municipalities (local governments) and the management of protected areas (the National Park Directorates). Most of the questions were mirror questions, i.e. both the local professionals and managers of protected areas were asked the same question thus revealing two aspects of the same question.beside mirror questions there were a few specific questions concerning particularly for the settlements and the protected areas, respectively. The list compiled for municipals contained 28 questions, while that of the protected areas 29 questions. The questions can be classified in three main groups as follows: The first group of questions was designed to explore the relationships and cooperation as well as the openness and cooperation ability of the parties; 8 The second group of questions relate to the evaluation of the role and impact of other party has in the micro-region; The third set of questions is for exploring the parties ideas and strategy for the future The functional analysis of settlements One important feature of settlements is that they provide location for activities fulfilling the needs; on the other hand, they are closely related to fulfilling the needs of the people living there. The two are connected by the functions supplied by municipalities and the institutions providing them, which carry out their activities in the given settlement. In this way they facilitate the fulfilment of the need of local people and in case of certain functions of people living in the catchment area. During the investigation of the roles of the settlements of the micro-region the so-called inventory method was applied. Accordingly, item by item, the presence and quantitative data of institutions with central (urban) and local (village) roles were explored i.e. the frequency of their occurrence examined. In the study, the micro-regional presence of 64 institutions was taken into account. The institutions were grouped based on the tasks they perform and in this way seven institutional groups were formed: (1) justice and law enforcement, (2) education and culture, (3) health and social care, (4) recreation and sports, (5) trade and catering, (6) public administration, authorities and agencies, (7) enterprises, financial institutions and chambers. The data used for functional analysis are typically from a collection of my own (municipal websites, websites of institutions, laws), while a smaller part (for 12 institutions) originates from TeIR settlements database (TeIR, 2011). Then, within the scope of urban functions, the spatial investigation of the expert emissions of the University of Szeged, Faculty of Agriculture (hereinafter referred to as SZTE MFK; currently called SZTE Faculty of Agriculture) as part of the network of knowledge communication, was carried out. A part of the data used the research (names and addresses of graduates from ) derived from the database of the Single Education System of the University of Szeged (ETR, 2006). Another part of the data was compiled with students directly involved in the research (in person or by telephone) and also indirectly (information provided by others). To make the databases ready for the investigations the data were encoded by sections and by micro-regions. The encoding of the micro-regions was completed by the micro-regional codes, which were 9 designed according to the statistical micro-region system regulated by the decree in force in the time of the research (second half of 2006). 244/2003. (XII. 18.). The Gazetteer of the Hungarian Republic also provided help for the work. The MS Excel spreadsheet programme and the SPSS 11.0 statistical software package were used for the examinations and for the evaluation of the results The investigation of other resources Among the other resources, on the one hand, a group of gran
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