“Hungary could assist the European integration of Serbia within the areas of legal harmonisation, food safety and agricultural education”, Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas said on Friday in Belgrade following a meeting with representatives of the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture.

The Minister told the press: Hungary supports Serbia’s accession to the European Union, and this requires that the agricultural laws of the Western Balkan country are harmonised according to EU expectations. “Serbian farmers will also become more competitive as a result, which is important in view of the fact that farming represents a living for many Hungarians living in Serbia”, he added.

“Food industry products from Vojvodina are of excellent quality, and these values must be preserved and expanded, because they represent a livelihood to many”, Mr. Fazekas stressed. In addition to legal harmonisation, Budapest can also provide advice in the integration process with regard to the field of food safety. The Minister said that in addition he regards the monitoring of foods, the acquisition of official veterinary permits, marking and labelling as important aspects, because as he explained, this is how consumers gain information about products that are characteristic to a given country.

The Minister of Agriculture pointed out that the Hungarian Government is also involved in providing UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) scholarships, which can provide assistance within the fields of agricultural education and vocational training. This makes possible the learning of expertise that enables farmers to produce food successfully within the European Union and to become familiar with the EU’s agricultural funding system.

Mr. Fazekas highlighted the fact that Budapest is also helping farmers by providing professional advice to enable them to become part of the Carpathian Basin economic area. With relation to this, the Minister stressed that it is important for there also to be a Hungarian pavilion at the Novi Sad International Agriculture Fair, which is the region’s largest agriculture expo. The Hungarian Minister of Agriculture will be officially opening the Hungarian pavilion on Saturday.

(MTI/Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)