“The Research Institute of Agricultural Economics (AKI) not only facilitates the work of the State Secretariat responsible for the agricultural economy, but provides professional information to all of the Ministry’s state secretariats. This activity has made the Research Institute the Ministry’s most important base of economic research, and with regard to its function has made it the Ministry’s key background institution”, György Czerván said at the conference organised in honour of the sixty-year-old research institute.

In his opening speech, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Minister of State for Agricultural Economy stressed that without the professional support of the Institute, the Ministry would have been unable to make the important decisions of recent years, including with regard to the reform of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy, adding that without the help of the Institute’s researchers it would have been difficult to determine, for instance, the level of production-based funding and that the survey of the absorptive capabilities of the individual sectors had been a prerequisite for the development of transitional national subsidies.

Mr. Czerván also emphasised that all studies ordered by the Ministry were approached by the Institute in a manner that was loyal to the profession and clearly performed from an economic perspective. The Minister of State expressed his hope that the existing synergy and successful cooperation between the Ministry and the AKI would continue in future and that the mutual respect and appreciation that they have for each other would further enhance the quality of professional activities performed in the service of Hungarian agriculture.

Director General of the Research Institute István Kapronczai said that Hungarian agriculture is “fit and well”, as also indicated by the fact that the sector’s participants have total bank savings of some 500 billion forints (EUR 1.6bn); the state of the sector can overall be regarded as positive.

Prior to the conference organised to mark the 60th anniversary of the AKI Research Institute, the Director General spoke about the fact that – partly due to price effects and partly as a result of EU subsidies – during the past three years the level of funding of the Hungarian agricultural economy has reached that of earlier members of the European Union, and accordingly an accumulation of resources has been achieved within Hungarian agriculture that could represent a basis for the future development of the sector. A subsidy and economic policy environment must be created that encourages the monies present within the sector are put towards further development, he said, adding that the competitiveness of certain sectors remains below that of the most well-developed, and the performance of these sectors should be raised to match that of the top ten percent, which is already performing excellently.

Quoting Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas, Director General Kapronczai pointed out that since its founding the Research institute of Agricultural Economy has been capable of adapting to the significant political, social and economic changes and stressed that it is the responsibility of those who work at the Research Institute to ensure that AKI research results can be “cashed in” to the advantage of the country’s taxpayers.

(MTI / Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)