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State Secretariat For Agrarian And Rural Development Moves From Budapest To Kecskemét

Tamás Székely 2015.01.14.

Hungary’s State Secretariat For Agrarian and Rural Development is the first State Secretariat to operate outside the capital. The move to the city of Kecskemét located 86 kilometres south of Budapest was completed by the January 5 deadline. Preparation of a rural development programme and consultations with Brussels required for the programme’s completion has been unaffected by the move, government spokeswoman Éva Kurucz said. Around half of the employees have agreed to commute to work from Budapest daily and the other half are agriculture experts living in the area of Kecskemét. There are currently 64 people working in the offices and this is planned to increase to 110.

The Prime Minister thanked Minister of State for Agrarian and Rural Development Zsolt Miklós, for his pioneering role in the move. “Hungary is doing well in developing rural power centres”, the Prime Minister said in Kecskemét at the inauguration event. Rural Hungary must play an equal role to the capital; a country, despite Budapest’s every beauty and strength, cannot simply consist of a capital city, Viktor Orbán stressed. Developing rural power centres contributes to the more balanced distribution of resources, career opportunities and quality intellectual life”.

The State Secretariat for Agrarian and Rural Development will play a huge role in helping the Government realise its rural development policies and in ensuring that the target ratio of 80:20 of small and medium sized estates as opposed to large estates is successfully met, including bringing the distribution of funding in line to these proportions, the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister characterised Kecskemét as one of the most dynamically developing Hungarian cities, pointing out that he will be visiting the city again next week for the launching of the latest Mercedes model and was there recently as a guest of Hungarian food industry giant Univer.

The State Secretariat will be one of the most important public administration workshops in the upcoming period in view of the fact that it will be responsible for the distribution of over 1200 billion forints (EUR 3.8bn) in funding, Viktor Orbán said, adding that the Government plans to spend 518 billion forints (EUR 1.6bn) to facilitate the development of small and medium-sized businesses operating within the agrarian sector and 76 billion forints (EUR 240m) on supporting young farmers.

The opposition Socialists (MSZP) said the state secretariat working for the time being with only half of the necessary staff after its move to Kecskemét could pose a problem in connection with European Union tenders due to a shortage of employees.

via and photo: Sándor Ujvári – MTI