Successful Transition from Planned to Market Economy

HUNGARY - András Tóth from Dunasczekcsŏ in southern Hungary, owner and director of the agricultural company Duna Gyöngye as well as owner of 850 sows kept in a closed system, has the guts to convert pig houses.
calendar icon 19 November 2009
clock icon 4 minute read

Forwards to the future: outside view of some pig houses following reconstruction.

The Hungarian Minister of Agriculture József Gráf (right) being shown around the premises by András Tóth.

Farm administrator Zoltán Kovács explains to Minister Gráf how the feed computer MC 99 functions.

The farrowing area.

View of one of the finishing sections, which has already been put into operation.

András Tóth uses grain grown on his own farm for production of mixed feed. This is a view of the new drying system.

The open day draws to a close with a relaxed meal in the adjacent restaurant.

Though it is 20 years ago since the Iron Curtain has fallen, Hungarian pig producers are still suffering from the aftermath.

The transition from the planned to the market economy had turned out to be a painful issue and involved severe declines in production.

Expressed in figures, this means a drop from eight million pigs produced in 1990 to 3.4 million animals at the end of 2008.

The enterprising Hungarian, however, has pursued with modernization of his out-dated production systems against great odds, and he has done so at an impressive rate.

Even the serious price turbulence on the global pig market and the worldwide economic crisis do not stop András Tóth. Since 2007 Big Dutchman has been involved in installing completely new equipment in all his pig houses.

And further buildings are to be renovated in 2010. Recently an open day was held, attended by the Hungrian Minster of Agriculture József Gráf as guest of honour, to officially celebrate the opening of the 13th modernized pig house.

The Big Dutchman Hungarian sales office Aliter-P Kft. was responsible for implementation of the ambitious project. This was a good move because Big Dutchman has been actively involved on the post-socialist markets for more than 20 years.

Nowadays the company is widely known as an expert for the reconstruction of out-dated production systems. In Dunasczekcsŏ the world-market leader from Vechta has supplied an impressively broad spectrum of equipment: Aliter-P Kft. provided state-of-the art equipment for 13 pig houses to accommodate 4,750 finishing and 4,200 flat-deck places.

In addition, equipment has been supplied for 210 places in the farrowing area as well as a section with crate stands.

As far as pregnant sows are concerned, András Tóth has decided in favour of appropriate group-housing. Therefore, he has had the Callmatic 2 computer-controlled feeding-on-demand system installed in 3 houses.

The system distinguishes itself through a refined interplay of hardware and software, thus guaranteeing feed distribution which is adapted and controlled in a way as to precisely suit the specific state of the sow.

In practical terms, this ensures optimum daily running – without constant disturbances and with a very peaceful atmosphere in the pig house.

The result: the advantages of appropriate husbandry and feeding designed exactly to suit the individual animal are combined in the best possible way. This means healthy animals and more piglets per sow.

In addition to pig production, András Tóth farms more than 2,100 hectares of arable land, is involved in silviculture and keeps 250 dairy cows in a closed system. Some of the meat produced is served in very tasteful form to guests in the adjacent restaurant:

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