Magazine: Vegetables perform better than fruits

By: Tisza Andrea Date: 2019. 01. 30. 07:12

Ferenc Ledó

Vegetables are grown on 83,000-85,000 hectares of land in Hungary, annual production is around 1,900-2,000 thousand tons and this represents a value of HUF 185-190 billion. According to Ferenc Ledó, president of the Interprofessional Organisation for Fruit and Vegetable (FruitVeB), sweet corn and pea are the top vegetables in terms of growing area. Fruit is grown on 80,000 hectares and about 800,000-900,000 tons are produced per annum, in the value of HUF 80-90 billon. Apple, sour cherry, walnut, plum and apricot are the most important varieties.

The Hungarian market absorbs 80-85 percent of the fresh fruit and vegetable output, but more than 50 percent of the processed products are exported. As for the quality level of production, the president said that 60-70 percent of the vegetable segment’s output is competitive, but in the case of fruits this proportion is only 25-30 percent. In the last few years demand increased for quality Hungarian products.

Mr Ledó added that there is also growing demand for ready-to-cook products, salad mixes and smoothies. Unfortunately the share of import is still high in this segment. More and more producers pay attention to use eco-friendly packaging solutions with fresh products. The workforce shortage causes big problems in fruit and vegetable farming. Farmers are ‘forced’ to go digital and to adopt the solutions offered by precision farming and automation. This requires considerable capital investment and acquiring new professional knowledge too. Mr Ledó believes that the integration process of farmers needs to be speeded up.

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