The Land Act ensures that land belongs to those who farm it and the sale of 200 thousand hectares of state land in recent years served the interests of those who farm the land, according to the Minister of Agriculture.

Sándor Fazekas spoke about this at a farmers’ forum in Sülysáp, Pest County, on Thursday.

According to the Minister, the past eight years have been characterised by peace within the agrarian sector, with the administration and farmers working together to develop new legal frameworks for agriculture. “Our goal is to represent the interests of Hungarian farmers in the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy”, the Minister stressed, highlighting the fact that area-based funding has increased to over 70 thousand forints per hectare from 40 thousand in 2010.

He also drew attention to the fact that 1.3 billion forints (EUR 4.15 million) in development funding has been injected into Sülysáp in recent years, of which farmers received 300 million forints for important agricultural tenders, microenterprises received 60 million forints and 72 million forints were devoted to the development of small enterprises, adding that 200 million forints were also spent on constructing the town’s health clinic and another 200 million on improving building insulation.

Mr. Fazekas said it was unprecedented that on a television program Jobbik MP Zoltán Magyar had “attacked” farmers. The Jobbik politician said that state farmland must be renationalised, because it was privatised illegitimately”, he added.

The Ministry of Agriculture’s Minister of State for Agricultural Economy and the region’s Member of Parliament György Czerván spoke about the fact that agriculture has been one of the flagship sectors in achieving the country’s 4 percent economic growth, adding that according to the latest foreign trade figures published a few days ago Hungarian agricultural exports had broken all previous records last year reaching 8.9 billion euros, which is a 50 percent increase compared to 2010.

The Minister of State also mentioned that the sector’s foreign trade surplus for 2017 was 3.2 euros, which represents 40 percent of the whole national economy’s foreign trade surplus.

“All this has been achieved thanks to the fact that employment has increased compared to 2010, by 50 thousand people in agriculture, which is an increase of 27 percent, and by 24 thousand people in the food industry, which represents an increase of 20 percent. The level of investment in agriculture has also increased by 27 percent since 2010”, Mr. Czerván explained.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)