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Neue regionale Strukturen in der Landwirtschaft Thüringens

New regional structures in the agrigulture of Thuringia
[journal article]

Wollkopf, Meike

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Abstract Until 1989 the agriculture of the former GDR was mainly oriented toward the self-supply of the country's 16 mill. inhabitants. It was centrally planned and developed and organized to yield the highest possible returns of the natural potential. Presently, it is undergoing a fundamental change. Since the opening of the border between the two German states, the integration into the agricultural market of the EC, the economic and monetary union of July 1, 1990, agriculture has been confronted with numerous new problems. Among these are the breakdown of the East German distribution and supply networks, offensive marketing strategies of big West German suppliers and retail chains, a lack of the necessary legal, man-power oriented, technological and financial prerequisites for a conversion of the agricultural production profile toward a market orientation. Other issues include financial problems due to old debts and questions of property rights etc. Thuringia -one of the five East German states with approximately 880 000 ha of agricultural land- serves as an example. A comparison of indicators of agricultural land use for the years 1989 and 1990/91 reveals the rapid change taking place in the century-old agricultural regions. Thuringia has a wide array of physiographic regions. They range from wood-covered mountain ranges of an altitude up to 1000m to loesscovered regions, well suited for agriculture (see the comprehensive three step valuation in fig. 1). The acreage for vegetables and root crops has been considerably reduced, predominantly in regions with soils of lower quality. Oil seeds, on the other hand, and especially colza reach new dimensions due to EC subsidies. Pastures tend to be enlarged, a reduction in the intensity of use of the pastures can be observed. The reduction of livestock (cattle/hogs/sheep) set in immediately after 1989, in 1990 there was for example already a reduction of 488 000 hogs. A differentiation of the stock reductions according to the three valuation classes was already noticeable in 1990. 90 000 jobs in agriculture were lost between 1989 and 1992, all parts of the state were affected in a similar way. The adaptation of the agriculture of Thuringia to market principles has begun. The polarization between regions of lower agricultural potential and regions of high valuation begins to take shape. The future development will give further contours to this tendency.
Keywords Federal Republic of Germany; Thuringia; New Federal States; structural change; economic geography; agriculture; agricultural development; reunification; area utilization; location factors; animal husbandry; manpower
Classification Area Development Planning, Regional Research; Economic Sectors; Rural Sociology
Document language German
Publication Year 1993
Page/Pages p. 2-6
Journal Europa Regional, 1.1993 (1993) 1
ISSN 0943-7142
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications