This year will test the strength and perseverance of Hungarian farmers like never before, but unity is needed in Hungarian agriculture. Farmers are in a difficult situation, but we must forge hope from this difficulty, and create strength and unity instead of division, said Minister of Agriculture István Nagy at the 31st Farmer Expo in Debrecen.
This summer, severe drought has hit the whole of Europe, and Hungary is no exception. Farmers in most parts of the country, especially in the Great Plain, are facing serious losses, with reports of damages in this area already amounting to HUF 400 billion.
Reflecting on the situation, Agriculture Minister István Nagy said that the exceptional weather conditions call for extraordinary measures and that the smallest farmers are not forgotten. The minister also said that
it was an important task to restore the esteem of the farming community in Hungarian society.
The minister announced the reopening of a tender for small farmers to receive a lump sum of EUR 15,000 over five years to support and expand their activities. An important aspect is that no personal financial contribution is required for the application.
István Nagy, Minister of Agriculture
In connection with the lack of rainfall and the drought, the minister also drew attention to the measures taken so far by the Drought Emergency Operational Task Force. He explained that a moratorium on loan repayments would be granted until the end of 2023 for agricultural businesses in need. In addition, for agricultural drought insurance, the government will speed up and make the insurance compensation process more flexible.
An additional HUF 1.4 billion to support the increased energy costs of public irrigation works serving irrigation will also help to mitigate drought damage.
István Nagy also pointed out that
some of our habits of using farmland need to be reviewed to help farmers conserve water.
We also need to rethink what drought-tolerant crops can be grown in these weather conditions, and farmers can rely on domestic genetic stock in this situation, he added.
Featured photo: Pixabay, MTI/Krizsán Csaba