Potatoes became the determining factor of food

By: STA Date: 2023. 07. 27. 10:30

The foundations of our agriculture are now stable, as the well-thought-out and consistent measures of the past 13 years have made it clear that the government views Hungarian agriculture as a strategic sector – Minister of Agriculture István Nagy declared on Thursday at the 35th National and International Potato Conference in Nyírtelek.

(Photo: AM/Csaba Pelsőczy)

The head of the ministry said that our primary task is currently to ensure the liquidity of farmers, maintain competitiveness, and the comprehensive modernization of the sector. All of this serves the purpose of the sector taking advantage of its opportunities and maintaining a high level of food safety. István Nagy also touched on the fact that Hungary provides an unprecedented amount of 80 percent additional national funding for the resources of the EU budget cycle until 2027. Thanks to this, in 2021 and 2022, the transition years of the Common Agricultural Policy, the government launched a large-scale investment program, within the framework of which it announced new calls for tenders with a resource limit of HUF 1,500 billion, including for potato growers. He emphasized that it is also worth highlighting that based on the “Modernization of Horticultural Plants” call, farmers were given the opportunity to build, expand, and modernize vegetable and potato storage facilities as well as related facilities.

Many investments received support

In relation to the Rural Development Program, István Nagy talked about how, in recent months, another 414 agricultural and food industry investments received almost HUF 181 billion. The never-before-seen amount of resources available for the development of agriculture provides an opportunity for the complete modernization of agriculture and food production, which is the backbone of the Hungarian rural economy, along the strategic directions defined in the “Renewable countryside, renewable agriculture” program, the minister emphasized. The head of the ministry said about this year’s potato harvest that the weather has been favorable to the plant so far. It was characterized by effective emergence at the right time and rapid initial development. The harvesting of potatoes sown on time and grown under foil has already begun. At the same time, the large majority grown outdoors are still in the flowering phase. According to preliminary estimates, the usual crop yield is expected, he added.

Potato cultivation receives special attention

István Nagy emphasized that the sector received special support that facilitated the transition to precision farming technologies, agricultural water management investments and irrigation communities. He emphasized that it can become a prototype for domestic potato cultivation by applying the most modern precision farming technologies and innovative analytical methods. The soon-to-be published call for “Support for Demonstration Plants” will also help the sector. According to the minister, the managers and owners of research institutes and stations conducting variety experiments or breeding will also be entitled to funds.