Regional expansion can ensure the future of Hungarian melon cultivation, according to experts

By: STA Date: 2024. 06. 18. 10:00

After the successful technology and variety change, regional expansion can ensure the future of Hungarian melon cultivation – said the leaders of the producers’ interest representatives at the National Chamber of Agriculture (NAK) in Budapest on Wednesday.

(Photo: Pixabay)

The president of the Hungarian Melon Growers’ Association stated that this year’s prospects are favorable, since the ripening of melons in the country was not threatened by any extreme weather conditions. A few smaller stores already sold Hungarian melons at the weekend, the first deliveries to the larger supermarket chains will arrive next week, and the peak period may begin in July, the foreign product should be out of stock by then – added Mátyás Göcző, who believes that in addition to international cultivation technology the country’s capabilities also contribute to success. The domestic production area of ​​melons has been growing for years, with few exceptions, the chain stores do not abuse their market power, and producer organizations have also reached the level where they can prevent market abuses, he emphasized. The head of the association considers the prevention of the relabeling of imported melons and the conquest of foreign markets to be the next important task. Summer sports events favor exports, according to experience, demand increases significantly at this time, he added.

The executive director of the Hungarian Fruit and Vegetable Association FruitVeB advised producers to take part in the supplier programs of supermarket chains, because this way they can more easily deliver their products abroad

According to Péter Kelemen, Hungarian melons can primarily find new customers in Central European countries, and although climate change causes problems domestically, it makes production in the competitive Mediterranean regions much more unpredictable than in Hungary, where the rising cost of labor is one of the biggest challenges. Péter Kelemen welcomed the rise of modern hybrid varieties, but emphasized that Hungarian melon cultivation can only remain on the development path if it can increase sales.

The head of the horticulture department of the National Chamber of Agrarian Economy (NAK) announced that the domestic watermelon production area reached 3,300 hectares, the cantaloupe production area could be 450-500 hectares, and almost a third of this year’s 160,000-180,000-ton harvest could be exported.

Imre Csizmadi noted that development should not stop if Hungary wants to be self-sufficient in melons. Interest groups have done a lot in recent years to curb imports, organize the market efficiently, and study the cultivation practices of competitors together with the producers. Melons are an important area of ​​the horticulture industry, and according to the feedback, consumers expect the fresh domestic crop to appear in the retailers’ offer every year, signaling the summer season, he added.


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