Land-grabbing in Kajászó, Hungary

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">In Hungary the average size of the 'large estates' is among the largest in Europe: about 3,200 hectares. This land concentration damages food sufficiency, leads to rural depopulation and has led to the expansion of large-scale monocultural agriculture and increasing social tensions in the Hungarian countryside. In 2010, the government followed through on its election promises and put 65,000 ha of state land available through a public tender. The aim was to support young local farmers and their families by offering them low-cost leases for 20 years. However, the tender process was plagued with irregularities and corruption. A series of scandals erupted after the announcement of the results of the first round of tenders as most of the land has been leased to Hungarian agro-businessmen and capitalists and cronies close to the governing party. </div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none"> Kajászó, a Transdanubian village is the most extreme example of the abuses related to the public land lease tenders. While local applicant family farmers received not one acre, a single candidate from another village won all 428 acres of public land without having any farming experience at all. <br/><br/> In response, Kajászó's farmers organised themselves to claim local control of land and farmers rights. Their tactics were inspired by José Bové's visit to Kajászó that was carried out as a joint project of the European and Hungarian Greens. In a symbolic land-seizing gesture the farmers ploughed a stretch of the land that has been leased – in their judgment, illegitimately – to the winner of the tender and symbolically placed the land under the authority of the local farmers' council. They have also founded the grassroots Association of Farmers' Councils, to secure the interests of small-scale producers and have encouraged other communities to do the same. <br/><br/> This may be considered as a particular Hungarian form of land-grabbing. <br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Land-grabbing in Kajászó, Hungary</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/hungary">Hungary</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen county, Baranya county, Fejer county</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>LOW country/state level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)<br /> Land acquisition conflicts</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/land'>Land</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>65000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>04/2012</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>National Land Management Organization </td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>European and Hungarian Greens, Dialogue for Hungary MP Rebeka Szabó, Association of Farmers’ Councils</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Farmers<br /> Local government/political parties<br /> Social movements</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Land occupation<br /> Media based activism/alternative media<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Public campaigns<br /> Referendum other local consultations</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Potential: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Potential: </strong>Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Displacement, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Loss of landscape/sense of place</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Compensation<br /> Corruption<br /> New legislation<br /> Strengthening of participation<br /> Under negotiation<br /> Intervention of international organizations</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>No</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>Thus far only only 34 000 hectares of land out of the 65 000 hectares promised have been made available. But even these have not followed principles of justice in their distribution. The tender didnt follow the stated goals of strengthening family farming. The application system was plagued with problems, for example: there was no limit in the number of applications per capita and in he number of obtainable units per capita. Moreover, subjective aspects were overrated in the final scoring. In the first application round 20 000 hectares were allocated and in the second round 7 000 hectares were declared. It is suspected that the remaining 31 000 hectares have been handed over to the previous owners through secret contracts. Most of the land went to Hungarian capitalists and interest groups, who have huge influence, particularly those close to the government. This problem has not been solved yet. The solution perhaps requires the intervention of international organizations because of the corruption of the related Hungarian actors. So far it seems this situation is a special form of land grabbing in Hungary.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> LV. act in 1994 <br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Vidékstratégia.pdf <br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> LXXXVII. act in 2010<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> National strategy of rural regions (Nemzeti videkstrategia)<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Media Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Hungarian land grabbing leaves farmers angry<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Gyorgy Malovics</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>24/06/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>