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Agriculture Minister: Hungary Won’t Accept CAP Deal That Hurts Farmers

MTI-Hungary Today 2021.05.28.

Hungary will not accept an agreement on the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy that hurts Hungarians who make a living from agriculture, István Nagy, the minister of agriculture, said after the first day of a meeting of the bloc’s Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels on Wednesday.

Nagy said in a statement that the meeting focusing on the regulatory framework of the CAP for the 2023-2027 period could turn out to be a decisive one for Hungary’s agriculture sector and the future of Hungarian farmers.

The meeting will decide the conditions under which Hungarian farmers will get the funding they are entitled to, following a two-year transitional period, the minister said.

In a video message posted on Facebook, Nagy said Hungary believes that farmers who farm smaller lands, “and are therefore more vulnerable”, should receive special treatment, arguing that “they are the ones who shape rural Hungary.”

“We also stand by preserving the funding allocated to livestock farms, fruit and vegetable producers as well as protein plant farmers,” the minister said. “For them, this is about their livelihood.”

Nagy said most of the disagreements were about questions concerning the funds to be allocated towards environmental and climate protection. Hungary’s goal is to strike a balance between the aspects of competitiveness and climate protection, he said.

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Hungary is fighting for a funding system that advances sustainability by encouraging farmers, rather than punishing them, Nagy said. Payments made to farmers based on the size of the farmland must continue to guarantee income security, he said, adding that rural development funds must serve to boost competitiveness.

featured image: István Nagy; via Zsolt Czeglédi/MTI