There are great opportunities in the development of Hungarian-Russian agricultural relations, says State Secretary for Rural Development Gyula Budai, who held discussion with Russian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Alexander Chernogorov on Wednesday in Moscow.
The Hungarian delegation was the first to be received by the newly formed Russian government in Moscow, at the Ministry of Agriculture. The Russian party stated, "Hungary is important to us and this is why we made this meeting possible, while the new Ministry is still under organisation", State Secretary for Rural Development Gyula Budai informed the Hungarian News Agency MTI. The delegation also included the Ministry's State Secretary for Public Administration Imre Farkas, and Deputy State Secretary Katalin Tóth.
"The next session of the Hungarian-Russian agricultural workgroup should be held in autumn of 2012", indicated Russian Deputy Minister Alexander Chernogorov, who is also Co-President of the workgroup, at the meeting, stressing "the successful relationships that have come about during the first quarter of the year have shown a new direction for cooperation between our two countries", expressing his hope that efforts towards further development will be multiplied.
In his opinion, with much hard work Hungarian-Russian agricultural cooperation may become a success story, because a new agricultural development plan is in preparation within the Russian Federation for the period 2013-2020, which will also create excellent opportunities for the distribution and sale of Hungarian products and technologies. State Secretary of the Hungarian Ministry of Rural Development Gyula Budai indicated that the Ministry is preparing for the planned workgroup session in the autumn with concrete draft agreements.
According to Chernogorov, an inter-governmental treaty only provides the basis of bilateral relations, any real development in Russia must be achieved at a regional level. He asked Hungarian agricultural businesses and entrepreneurs to represent themselves in greater numbers at the various agricultural trade fairs, where concrete agreements might be signed.
It was stated at the meeting that the Russian market has a great capacity and demand for fresh, processed and frozen vegetables. Similarly significant opportunities present themselves on the seed market, as Hungarian agricultural seeds are internationally recognised. There is also demand for Hungarian experience within the field of greenhouse plant cultivation in Russia. There are also opportunities on the Russian market for the promotion, sale and possibly even the production of Hungarian pálinka, a Hungaricum.
"Alexander Chernogorov also drew attention to the fact that rabbit meat may be a possible replacement for the shortage of meat caused by the Russian Swine Flu epidemic, which they plan to import from abroad. The Hungarian sector could join this growing field, as rabbit farming is also experiencing a renaissance in Hungary. The Russian Federation is experiencing serious problems due to locus invasions, which are destroying large agricultural plantations in the southern area of the country, with reference to which they have requested the expert help of the Hungarian Ministry of Rural Development.", explained Deputy State Secretary for Rural Development Katalin Tóth.
There are excellent opportunities within the field of animal husbandry, in the export of beef and dairy cattle, and according to information provided by Katalin Tóth, a new opportunity has arisen in the form of the transportation of frozen embryos.
At the meeting, the possibility arose that Hungarian experts should take part in the major Moscow agricultural trade fair, the Golden Autumn, holding lectures on their experiences regarding new technologies in animal husbandry. The new Russian Minister of Agriculture has invited Hungarian Minister for Rural Development Sándor Fazekas to this international fair. The Minister visited the Prodexpo food industry fair in Moscow this February.
State Secretary Gyula Budai presented the new Russian Minister of Agriculture Nikolai Fyodorov and Deputy Minister of Agriculture Alexander Chernogorov with and invitiation to visit Hungary from Minister for Rural Development Sándor Fazekas.