Targeted subsidies help domestic potato cultivation

By: STA Date: 2024. 06. 18. 11:00

It is a priority to ensure that domestic potato production is competitive and that farmers have an adequate commodity base – said Sándor Farkas, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, at the professional event of the National Potato Association and Product Council on Tuesday in Budapest, which was organized on the occasion of the 1st World Potato Day.

At the initiative of the FAO, our country joined the International World Potato Day at the United Nations (Photo: AM/István Fekete)

In Hungary, in recent years, farmers have produced around 180,000 to 300,000 tons of potatoes on 6,000 to 12,000 hectares of farmland. Potatoes are a favorite staple food of Hungarian households, therefore the priority goal of the development policy is to continuously satisfy consumer needs throughout the year, emphasized Sándor Farkas. He pointed out that in 2020, within the framework of the Rural Development Program, the department created support for the development of all technological elements related to potato cultivation. In 2021-22, more than 10,000 agricultural and food industry enterprises were able to realize their development ideas with a value exceeding HUF 1,200 billion. For horticulture, the construction of greenhouses, foil houses, cold storages, the purchase of machines and post-harvest technologies, and the planting of plantations all became available in a subsidized manner. So far, 6,900 have won in calls for horticulture sectors In connection with the tender, a decision has already been made on a grant amount exceeding HUF 184 billion. Sándor Farkas added that, in order for domestic potato cultivation to be competitive and for producers to have an adequate commodity base, the Ministry of Education helps the sector with targeted subsidies. The calls of the KAP Strategic Plan help to achieve all these goals. Investments related to energy efficiency and support for participation in agricultural collaborations are prioritized among the new tenders, since the bargaining position of producers in the supply chain remains weak in the absence of cooperation. Cooperations can also play a significant role in strengthening smaller economies, the deputy minister underlined.

The call for tenders aimed at increasing the value of agricultural products, with a budget of around HUF 200 billion, which has already been published, can also help sector players for investments in potato processing. He added that a new call for tenders related to horticultural greenhouses and cold storages and to support post-harvest developments with a budget of HUF 50 billion will be published, expected in July. This announcement is particularly important for the potato sector, both for the establishment of storage facilities and for the acquisition of equipment for post-harvest processing, be it sorting, cleaning, grading or packaging machines or lines of machines, related technological equipment, as well as the necessary software.


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