Vol. 53, No 2, 2008
UDC: 633.71 : 63l.67 : 551.573
Original scientiﬁc paper
THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERS IN SUSTAINABLE
RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN SEE (SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE)
K. O. Sindir1, M. Martinov2, S. Skaljic3, M. Djevic4, S. Oztekin5, V. Ros6, N. Mihailov7 and S. Kosutic8
Abstract: Rural areas, especially in developing countries, are facing with numerous social, economical, cultural and environmental problems. In the most cases there is a growing concern because only very few farmers or inhabitants are able to follow contemporary, sustainable and environment-friendly methods in farming systems. The consequences of this are numerous, such as: poverty, signiﬁcant migration to urban areas and unplanned suburban settlements. This has a signiﬁcant impact on the national economy, demography, and environment.The Association of Agricultural Engineering in South Eastern Europe (AESEE), recently have dealt with these signiﬁcant problems of the rural communities of their region and herewith emphasized the role of agricultural engineers in overcoming the problems and providing applicable solutions for a sustainable rural development. Key words: rural areas, agricultural engineering, South-Easter Europe, AESEE, sustainable rural development
1 K. O. Sindir, PhD, professor, Ege University, Faculty of Agriculture, Izmir, Turkey, firstname.lastname@example.org
2 M. Martinov, PhD, professor, University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Engineering, Novi Sad, Serbia, email@example.com 3 S. Skaljic, PhD, professor, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, firstname.lastname@example.org 4 M. Djevic, PhD, professor, University of Belgrade, Faculty of Agriculture, Belgrade, Serbia, email@example.com
5 S. Oztekin, PhD, professor, Cukurova University, Faculty of Agriculture, Adana, Turkey, firstname.lastname@example.org
6 V. Ros, PhD, professor, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, email@example.com 7 N. Mihailov, PhD, professor, "Angel Kunchev" University, Faculty of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Rousse, Bulgaria, firstname.lastname@example.org 8 S. Kosutic, PhD, professor, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, Zagreb, Croatia, email@example.com
K.O. Sindir et al.
United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in its Annual Report for 2007 (UNDP, 2007), warns the international community for the growing gap between rich and poor citizens, within both developed and developing nations, i.e. the richest 2 % of the world’s adult population now owns more than 50 % of global household wealth whereas the bottom 50 % own barely 1 % and the gains from global growth are being highly unequally distributed. The poverty is when somebody ends up with poor quality land, water, fuel and other natural resources, which in turn limit soil productivity. In trying to make a living, they may further degrade their immediate environment, leading to a vicious cycle. Environmental degradation and scarce resources both push people into poverty and keep them there, reinforcing inequities. Today, soil erosion, ﬂoods, draughts and pollution threatens the livelihoods of 2.6 billion people and over a billion people don’t have clean water. Each year, sub-Saharan Africa loses more in productivity through poor water management than it gains through development aid and debt relief. It is, therefore, imperative to emphasize once again, the roles of agricultural engineering for rural development under these circumstances.
Status of the SEE Countries
Regarding the current general and economic indicators and the situation of agricultural structure and production in SEE countries involved within this study, namely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia and Turkey, Table 1 and 2 are provided. As can be seen from the tables, GDP per capita is very similar with the exception of Croatia, and agricultural share in the GDP of the countries seems...