Apple Valley, Hungary
Apple Valley, Kozard, Hungary, apple project, regional fruit logistic centre Agroservice Integrated Fruit and Agrotourism Project
Tel: 36 20 365 5758, 36 30 210-4308, Fax 36 32 491-076
Hungary prepares its economy and agriculture for the EU integration in/around 2004. The countrys almost entirely harmonized legal and regulated market system create a framework for successful project development and promising environment for foreign investment. Hungarys unic, sunny climate, good soils, great tradition and historical knowledge in fruit production, well-trained and not expensive labour force and fast developing domestic fruit market contribute to a promising, profitable fruit production and marketing atmosphere.
Hungary is one of the most important apple growing countries in Central Europe. Among several development projects, the Agroservice-led agricultural and fruit integration operates in Nograd county, North-Hungary. Climatic conditions of this region are particularly favourable for the development of tasty, good quality fruits. In fact, the good alternation of sunny days and cooler nights in late autumn contribute to a rich taste and colour.
Ten years after the changing of co-operative farming system to private ventures, Agroservice, in co-operation with local associated farmers in the region started an ambitious fruit and agro-tourism project. The project aims to produce 4,000 tons of quality table apple, and several hundred tons of apricot, plums, berries, 300 tons of sour-cherry and establish profitable rural and health- ecotourism ventures in the Cserhat mountains in a few years time. The development area is also suitable for organic/biological (chemical-free) agricultural production. Developers cares much about the environment, meadows, forests and wildlife. The crop and fruit land is exclusively owned by Hungarian private farmers.
The project is located in Kozard and Ecseg villages in irrigated region, approx. 80 km from Budapest. A newly established water reservoir provides water for drip irrigation for 300 hectares.
As a result of extensive market research, the project accommodates plantations of best fruit varieties, suitable for fresh production locally and in foreign markets. Large scale modern fruit plantations create favourable conditions for production of high quality fruits, and application of high-level mechanization (i.e. utilization of electrostatic sprayers, fruit picking machines, establishment of ULO cold storages.) Beside production and sales of fresh fruit, a solar powered fruit drying unit and a fruit alcohol distyllery will be established. Carefully selected fruit varieties (Gala, Braeburn, Fuji) will be planted, in order to meet actual consumers demand in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and in the Skandinavian countries. Planting materials are being secured from Hungarian and foreign nurseries.
This project closely linked to the national and regional economic and agriculture development programmes. Fruit projects enjoy remarkable government support in Nort-Hungary.
With substantial investment, the Agroservice Group established a water reservoir on the "Kozard" stream, which holds 144,000 cubic meter irrigation water, suitable for a year-round drip irrigation of 300 hectares fruit orchards. The initial plantation of 13.5 hectares apricot and plum orchard has been established in 1999, followed by an extension to 22 hectares in year 2000. In 2001, 4 hectares almonds, 10 hectares black currant and 12 hectares Gala, Golden and Jonagold apple have been planted. New land has been prepared for additional apple, apricot, plum and berries on 106 hectares, and the new plantation will be implemented in 2002-2005.
The new orchard is becoming a regional (national and international) demonstration site, hence excellent opportunity for testing varieties, cultivation, harvesting and post-harvest technologies and equipment. The Agroservice Web (www.agroservice.hu) supports the dissemination of technical marketing information.
The production programme is coordinated by a management team from Agroservice Headquarters in Kozard. The project itself is situated 80 km from Budapest, 30 km from Salgotarjan, Gyongyos and Hatvan and 26 km from M-3 motorway, 12 km from the nearest railway station and 92 km from Budapest Ferihegy airport. There are 16 hypermarkets (Cora, Tesco, Auchan, Metro, Kaiser, Plus) within 120 km distance.
The Kozard Apple Valley project is being established in production units, to produce 4,000 tons of fresh fruit on a 120 ha irrigated orchards and store the fruit in state of the art ULO cold storage. Four blocks will have one fruit handling and packing unit, supported by transportation facility.
New apple varieties will be planted in a demonstration orchard in Kozard Apple Valley, in order to carry out field trials and locally test most suitable varieties under prevailing micro climate for further plantations. These are new Gala, Golden, Braeburn, Pink Lady and Fuji clones. These are the best table apples, mainly from Northern Italy, the Netherlands, France and New Zealand, with good storage characteristics.
Species and varieties planted so far:
Apricot: 13 hectares, (1999: 2277 trees, 2000: 2253 trees). Varieties: Grand Hungarian, Cegled giant, Bergeron, Pannónia, Cegléd gold, Orange red, Cegléd pink.
Plum: 9,5 hectares (1999: 1890 trees, 2000: 3094 trees). Varieties: Blufree, Tulea gras, President, Cacanska lepotica
Experimental almonds plantation: 4,0 hectares, established in 2001 (1800 trees). Varieties: all locally selected Hungarian varieties
Apple 1. plantation: established in November 2001. 12 hectares, approx. 36,000 trees. Planting materials purchased from Europlant Hungary: Golden Delicious Reinders, Gala Galaxy, Jonagored and Granny Smith.Technical elements Cold storages(ULO) and solar powered fruit drying unit:
These project elements are essential for a successful project implementation. Only the top of the range ULO cold storage will be installed, in order to ensure best fruit quality and longer storage time. Cold storages are planned to hold 1000 tons of fresh fruit each. Along the National Highway No. 21., a fruit handling, storage and logistic center will be established. This are will accommodate the drying unit as well.
Fruits, which might not suitable for fresh consumption, will be taken to the fruit drying unit. Mainly apricot, plum and apple will be used in the drying unit. Solar heat will be utilized in order to save energy and environment, and provide clean heat for the drying process.
On the field, local roads will be built, in order to facilitate careful transportation of fresh fruit. Farm machinery will be selected to meet latest requirements: reduced chemical use in integrated plant protection programme. For harvest and safe handling of fruits, special fruit harvesting-handling machinery will be imported from Italy and Finland.
Products and markets
Fresh apple, apricot, plum, berries (red and black currant), almond, sour cherry
Dried apricot, plum and cherry
Genuine Hungarian apricot, plum and cherry brandy (palinka), and apple palinka
2003: 44 tos apple, 7 tons apricot, 6 tons plum
2004: 240 tons apple, 20 tons apricot, 25 tons plum
2005: 730 tons apple, 35 tons apricot, 50 tons plum
2006: 1,600 tons apple, 60 tons apricot, 80 tons plum
2007: 2,800 tons apple, 80 tons apricot, 100 tons plum
2008: 4,000 tons apple, 100 tons apricot, 120 tons plum
Trade Mark of Apple Valley fresh table apple:
The primary market for fresh produce from Apple Valley is Europe (and of course, Hungary, where consumer demand is fast growing for good quality fresh fruit.) There are many new hypermarkets (Cora, Tesco, Metro, Auchan stb.) serve millions of customers every day. The export share, however, will represent around 50% of the fresh produce and 80% of the dry fruit.
Project cost estimate
The total investment cost of 120 ha plantation and four ULO cold storage, with two agrotourism ventures are HUF 1.7 billion. (Please note, plantation cost is not included in the above table).
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