Minister of State Zsolt V. Németh form the Ministry of Agriculture drew attention to the need for agri-environmental farming, and the Director-General of the National Agricultural Research and Innovation Centre (NARIC) called for, amongst others, precision farming in the interests of increasing the competitiveness of agriculture, at the second stop in a series of “Agriculture Academy” lectures at the Herman Ottó Institute in Budapest on Thursday.

The Minister of State for Environmental Affairs, Agricultural Development and Hungaricums stressed that preserving the biodiversity of the natural environment requires agri-environmental farming, the promotion of which is also being helped by the fact that, in addition to improving competitiveness, the targets of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) also include sustainable farming and the sustainable use of natural resources.

DownloadPhoto: Csaba Pelsőczy

In Hungary, this goal is served by, amongst others, the National Rural strategy (2012-2020), which is aimed at preserving the natural treasures and resources of Hungary’s regional landscapes, and places major emphasis on diverse and viable agricultural production. The minister of State also spoke about the fact that the Government is treating the preservation of plant and animal genetic material as an important priority area.

In his speech, Mr. Németh mentioned the newly adopted National Landscape Strategy, the priority goal of which is to establish landscape utilisation based on landscape capabilities, and an increase in landscape identity. In closing, he also mentioned the Ministry’s Closed Garden Revitalisation Programme, the main goal of which is to revive former allotments and neglected areas via community farming and while rescuing the values that are characteristic of the landscape.

DownloadPhoto: Csaba Pelsőczy

Director-General of the National Agricultural Research and Innovation Centre Csaba Gyuricza highlighted the fact that agricultural output could increase by 300-350 billion forints (~EUR 1bn) if the sector switched to precision farming, which he said was essential to competitive agricultural production. As an example of the low competitiveness of Hungarian agriculture, he mentioned that the proportion of funding within the sector exceeds profitability, adding that in his opinion vocational training must also be improved to facilitate increased competitiveness. Mr. Gyuricza also spoke about agricultural water management, with regard to which he drew attention to the shortage of trained experts and the lack of suitable vocational training for experts in water management.

(MTI/Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)