Hungary would not have a future without the land owned by Hungarian farmers, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said at the inaugural session of the National Agriculture Chamber’s (NAK) national delegate assembly in Parliament on Wednesday.
Orban said the three most precious elements of the Hungarian economy were the people, land and water. Hungary will not be a “front yard” for any other nation, Orban said. “Our national guiding principle says that this is our land, our labour, it belongs to us and it must benefit us,” the prime minister said.
Orban said the future of Hungarian agriculture was promising. He added, at the same time, that the sector was under threat from bureaucrats in Brussels who he said wanted to use increasingly large chunks of the European Union’s budget to solve one-off problems arising from issues like migration. According to the proposal coming from Brussels, the funds for this should be reallocated from traditional development funds, such as the funds earmarked for the Common Agricultural Policy. Orban said, at the same time, that the Hungarian farm ministry had “put up a good fight” in Brussels and the majority of member states had accepted Hungary’s position on the matter. As a result, the EU’s agriculture funds for the current funding period will remain untouched, Orban said. He added that the EU would need to allocate sufficient funding for its common agricultural policy in the future, too.
The prime minister told the assembly that Hungary’s agriculture sector has been among the three fastest-growing agriculture sectors in the EU since 2010. Between 2010-2017, agricultural production in Hungary grew by over 50 percent at current prices, Orban said. He said that over the past seven years, the government had introduced a large-scale subsidy system in the agriculture sector. As a result, government subsidies given to farmers this year will be 52 percent higher, or 396 billion forints more, than in 2010, he added.
Orban also said that between now and 2020, the government will spend the highest possible amount on the dairy, sheep, cattle and tobacco sectors. The government has also devoted close attention to sectors not covered by the EU, and as a result, government support for the poultry and pig sectors has grown three-fold compared with 2010, he said. Orban said the farm ministry will provide 9 billion forints (EUR 28.7m) in support to the agriculture chamber for the funding of an information campaign and the development of a nationwide ice damage protection system.
Source and photo: MTI