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In its next budgeting cycle, the European Union will only grant direct subsidies to farm producers “if they meet requirements of environment-friendly farming”, Zsolt Feldman, state secretary in charge of agriculture and rural development, told the daily Magyar Nemzet on Friday.

Feldman also said that the Hungarian government would distribute rural development subsidies “in a more concentrated system” from 2022 on.

Currently, farmers are eligible for an annual subsidy of 75,000 forints (EUR 221) per hectare, Feldman said, adding that the subsidy would in the future be tied in a way as to encourage the best ways of farming in terms of the environment and the climate.

The state secretary spoke highly of Hungary’s rural development programme in the 2014-2020 cycle, which allocated a total of 1,340 billion forints towards development projects in animal and vegetable farming, food production and wine growing.

Concerning negotiations on the EU’s next budget, Feldman said that while the European Commission would significantly cut funds from the common agricultural policy, the Hungarian government is, in cooperation with other countries, working to ensure that the cuts are not greater than justified by Brexit. “Cutting funds would be unfair for rural areas and their farming which provides the EU with food,” he said.

Featured photo illustration by Tamás Vasvári/MTI