The livelihoods of at least one million agricultural producers, employees and their relatives depend on agricultural grants partly or in their entirety, and therefore it is crucial that their current level is maintained also beyond 2020 and farmers receive them in full, Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas said on the morning programmes of the public service television and Kossuth Radio.

The Minister of Agriculture also said that, thanks to EU and national grants, since 2010 some 72,000 new jobs have come into being in the food economy; agriculture and the food industry are providing a secure living for ever more families. While farmers are the recipients of grants, buyers are equally beneficiaries of these funds as – thanks to these grants – they have access to healthy, high-quality and safe foodstuffs at reasonable prices, the Minister said.

Mr Fazekas stressed we have a vested interest in ensuring that the European Union’s agricultural policy has sufficient funding. It is widely know that with the departure of Britain, funds will decrease, and therefore Hungary was among the first to undertake to increase its Member State contribution. Additionally, it is also important that the funds which are due to farmers should not be reallocated by the EU, for instance, to the resolution of the migrant issue. By pursuing active agricultural diplomacy, Hungary is striving to maintain the level of agricultural grants. The legal framework for the common agricultural policy beyond 2020 is currently being developed which will also have an impact on the overall volume of grants. We managed to incorporate into this document the points of the V4 declaration adopted in January in Budapest.

The Minister of Agriculture also highlighted that agriculture and the food industry are now on a course of growth, and after an era of formerly privatised or bankrupt businesses and plants, in addition to reinforced companies, the Hungarian food economy is now also characterised by a series of new projects. While the development of the past ten years is visible and beyond dispute, the opposition has no positive message for farmers, while their political approach is markedly anti-farmer.

(Ministry of Agriculture, Press Office)