“Favourable processes have begun in recent years in Hungarian agriculture and the Hungarian food industry, and the sector is continuously gaining strength, which is also mirrored in its foreign trade figures. Agriculture exports were 8037 million euros in 2016, 38 percent more than in 2010”, the Minister of Agriculture said in parliament in reply to a question in Parliament.

Sándor Fazekas also said that the structure of agrarian exports was also favourable, with a significant increase in the ratio of high added value products within agrarian exports. 3.1 billion euros in high added value products were exported in 2016, over two thirds more than in 2010. The expansion of the processing industry also represent a calculable market for Hungarian farmers.

Thanks to the development of the food industry, total sales for the sector exceeded 2800 billion forints in 2016, which is 16 percent more than in 2010 at equivalent prices. In addition, food industry investment shave also increased dynamically.

“Thanks to an increasing global population, improvements in the standard of living and the industrial use of certain agricultural products, there is an increasing international demand for agricultural products”, Mr. Fazekas said. This is also an excellent opportunity for Hungarian farmers, he added. “For this reason, the Government has significantly increased the level of agricultural funding, is paying particular attention to sectors that produce high added value, is operating a preferential loan programme and is continuously developing the two-pillar risk management system, in addition to which agrarian vocational training has also been reformed in recent years. Furthermore, it is encouraging agriculture and food industry development projects through investment subsidies, in addition to promoting agriculture innovation. In addition, EXIM Bank financing constructions and the activities of the National Trading House network are also working to increase exports”, he explained.

Agricultural output has been steadily increasing for the past six years at current prices, and continues to break records every year, exceeding 2600 billion forints (EUR 8.4bn) in 2016. Last year, the summer harvest was excellent for the fourth year in a row, and the autumn harvest was also outstanding once again after a precious high in 2014. Animal husbandry has been successfully stabilised and placed on a growth trajectory, employment and exports have increased significantly, and the efficiency and profitability of farming have also improved”, the Minister said, listing the achievements of recent years.

“Hungarian agriculture still hold further opportunities. The Food Economy Concept adopted by the Government until 2050 includes a detailed programme and vision of the future aimed at realising the long-term development of the sector”, Mr. Fazekas said, concluding his reply to the interpellation.

(Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)