Propagation vegetable cultivation needs continuous development

By: STA Date: 2022. 11. 15. 09:45

Continuous improvements are needed in order to strengthen the competitiveness of vegetable cultivation, the Minister of Agriculture stated on Tuesday in Szegvár.

(Photo: Pixabay)

István Nagy said at the handover of two new 40,000 square meter growing greenhouses of Árpád-Agrár Zrt. and Szentesi Paradicsom Kft. that the Árpád group’s horticulture is one of Hungary’s largest vegetable growing businesses. From the end of the 1960s, they started building greenhouses and foil tents, which was fueled by thermal water found during oil industry test drilling. Hungary is a thermal superpower, moreover, the center of these resources is Csongrád-Csanád county, so the energy needed for greenhouses is available economically and sustainably, the politician said. According to KSH data, vegetables were grown on about 80,000 hectares in the country last year. Of this, the area under cover can be estimated at 2,132 hectares, 71 percent of which is located in the Southern Great Plain, the minister informed.

Through the Rural Development Program, the government has also previously supported vegetable cultivation

118 applicants won more than HUF 17 billion for the construction and modernization of almost 800,000 square meters of greenhouses and 465,000 square meters of foil houses, István Nagy said. So far, 313 producers have won more than 70 billion forints in the tenders announced in 2020 for the development of vegetable growing and cold storage capacities, as well as the development of commercialization systems, which is expected to create 38,000 square meters of new cold storage and 1.86 million square meters of new greenhouse surface. 2,296 producers received HUF 27.16 billion in subsidies for the procurement of horticultural machinery and tools. 193 billion forints have been awarded to 2,618 producers so far to promote precision developments – announced the head of the agricultural ministry. István Nagy also touched on the fact that, as a result of the supporter decisions made so far, 779 producers have received HUF 52.5 billion in support in the tender supporting the water management investments of the agrarian farm – which, according to the extended deadline, will end on June 30, 2023. The minister announced that the European Commission recently accepted the government’s strategic plan related to the common agricultural policy, which will become the basis of the support system in the future. He emphasized that the development of propagating cultivation remains an important goal, and gardeners can count on support in the future, for example, for the purchase of machines and tools, and the development of greenhouses and cold storage facilities. It is extremely important to increase the energy self-sufficiency of agricultural farms and reduce energy dependence. Based on the geological features of the country, the goal expressed is to exploit the potential inherent in the utilization of geothermal energy, among other things for heating greenhouses – emphasized the politician, emphasizing that the intensity of support can be increased up to 80 percent for such developments.

Sándor Farkas, the Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, stated that the utilization of geothermal energy in Hungary is a breaking point for early vegetable cultivation

There are sixty thermal wells operating in the Szentes area, which provide the energy supply for a significant part of horticultural cultivation equipment with the highest cutting-edge technology. The situation of Hungarian gardeners has improved, due to the increase in energy prices and transport costs, Dutch and Middle Eastern producers have lost their previous competitive advantage. Hungarian agricultural exports could be increased by increasing the cultivation of early tomatoes and bell peppers, said the state secretary.

About the investment

Miklós Csikai, the president and CEO of Árpád-Agrár Zrt., said that in the last ten years, the agricultural company has built almost 10 hectares of modern greenhouses with an investment of HUF 9.856 billion, about a third of the development was covered by EU support. Thanks to the investments, more than 50 percent of the company’s cultivation areas have been technically renewed, thus providing stable jobs for three hundred families for the next 30 years. In addition to the construction of a new 40,000-square-meter greenhouse, the company’s cold storage facilities at the Szegvár site were modernized, and the reconstruction of another 3,000-square-meter growing house was completed during the most recent investment – at a cost of 2.838 billion. High-pressure humidifiers were installed in old greenhouses on 11,000 hectares so that they can produce quality peppers even in summer, the specialist said.

Magdolna Katona, managing director of Szentesi Paradicsom Kft., said that with the 2.84 billion HUF investment – with a 50 percent subsidy – a 40,000-square-meter greenhouse with a 2,300-square-meter hall was built, where 70,000 tomato plants were planted. A 2,100-meter-deep well, providing 115-120 cubic meters of thermal water at 85 degrees Celsius per hour, was drilled to serve the grow house. A new logistics center with a cold store was built next to the company’s previously erected 4.3-hectare greenhouse block. According to publicly available company data, Szentesi Paradicsom Kft., which was founded in 2013 and is owned by 27 individuals, increased its net sales revenue from sales last year – exceeding 2020 by 6 percent – to HUF 2.124 billion. According to the plans, this year’s sales will exceed HUF 3 billion. The company’s profit after tax was HUF 214 million in 2020, and HUF 241 million last year. According to publicly available company data, Árpád-Agrár Zrt. achieved a net sales revenue of HUF 8.245 billion last year, which was more than 20 percent higher than in 2020. The company’s profit after tax was 362 million forints in 2020, and 255 million forints last year.


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