Ecological Farming in Slovakia and Its Regional Disparities

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Abstract

The paper points at the origin and development of ecological farming in Slovakia from 1991 to 2015. As the positive aspect of this period can be considered the increasing area of ecologically farmed agricultural land, as well as increasing number of farmers and a slight increase in the number of processors of ecological production. The increased interest of farmers in ecological farming on land occurred mainly after Slovakia's accession to the EU. The next part of the paper is dedicated to the regional disparities in ecological production at NUTS III (Slovak regions). To analyze spatial disparities at the regional level, we used the most widely applied statistical methods - standard deviation and coefficient of variation. The largest localization of ecological production is in northern Slovakia - in Žilina and Prešov region, in central Slovakia in Banská Bystrica region. In these regions, there are higher acreage of ecological farmland. Despite the slight increase of processors of ecological produce, they still lack in Slovakia. Processors of ecological products operate mainly in the regions of western and eastern Slovakia and north of the country. With the lack of ecological production, there is relatively underdeveloped distribution of products of ecological production and its lower consumption in the domestic market. Offers of bio-products is relatively low and weak competitive environment does not create the pressure to still reduce still high prices of ecological production.

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