Fruits and vegetables in the focus

By: trademagazin Date: 2007. 06. 27. 08:00

Regarding development, the production of fruits and vegetables will be treated as one of the priorities in agriculture during the next seven years. EU funding will be available for modernising production and processing, while a program to promote domestic consumption will also be launched. Ecological conditions in Hungary for the production of fruits and vegetables are favourable, but few administrative limitations apply to the trade in these products in the EU, which can be a problem for Hungarian producers. According to Béla Mártonffy, managing director of the Hungarian Fruit and Vegetables Product Council, many Hungarian producers of products like tomatoes and paprika have been displaced from the market by imports from Mediterrenean countries. There have been years when imports of such products exceeded exports. As winters are getting warmer, the season for growing fruits and vegetables will probably be extended by two months and money is going to be saved on heating. This should be reflected in consumer prices as well. Imports from Romania will also have an effect on prices. The harvest of fruits began 2-3 weeks earlier this year, than usual. As József Szabó, chairman of FruitVeb has told us, spring frost and recent storms have taken the highest toll among apple, plum and berries, where half of the total production has been lost. As a result of warmer than usual weather, fruits ripen far more quickly and can rot on trees, if not harvested within a few days. Consumer prices will be 15-20 per cent higher this year on average than they were last year. Many vegetables take longer to ripen this year, as sowing had to be repeated in many areas because plants had been destroyed by spring frost and hail storms. Many producers will be unable to meet their obligations towards processing plants.

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