Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas launched the special electronic money transfer system for the distribution of SAPS payments and special milk funding on Thursday, at a press conference held at Solum Zrt. in Komárom. A total of HUF 341.1bn (EUR 1.11bn) in SAPS payments may be distributed with reference to 2014 applications. During the first stage of payments, more than HUF 47bn will be disbursed to some 102,000 applicants.

At the press conference, the Minister said that in the second phase of payments, which would occur during the upcoming weeks, a further 50 thousand applicants would receive their allotted funding totalling almost 80 billion forints. Sándor Fazekas pointed out that after many years of reduction, the number of applicants for area-based SAPS funding first began to increase in 2012, with a total of over 177 thousand applications submitted this year.

DownloadPhoto: Csaba Pelsőczy

The HUF 34,178/hectare in funding being disbursed now represents a 50 percent advance on the total SAPS funding received by farmers, which makes the performance of autumn farming activities significantly easier. Over half of the applications received were submitted by farmers from the Southern Great Plains and Northern Great Plains regions. The specific amount of funding has more than doubled over the past seven years.

The advance payment of special milk funding dependent on milk production, which has existed within the sector since 2010, has also begun. 2200 clients will be receiving a total of HUF 6bn over the next few days with respect to this budget item.

Eligible farmers will be receiving the second instalment of their special milk funding in December of this year. The total budget for special milk funding is HUF 13.4bn (EUR 43.7 million), which represents HUF 8.94 per milk kilogram, meaning half of this specific funding amount, HUF 4.47/kg, may be paid in advance.

DownloadPhoto: Csaba Pelsőczy

Minister of State for Agricultural Economy György Czerván told the press that there was no need to ask for permission from Brussels for the advance payment of funding this year, because such payments fell within the national sphere of authority from 2014.

The EU’s budget for its Common Agricultural Policy has decreased by 11 percent, while Hungary will be receiving 1.9 billion euros more funding for agricultural and rural development over a period of seven years. With relation to autumn farming tasks. the Minister of State drew farmers’ attention to the fact that one of the conditions for receiving greening funding is the application of a suitable crop rotation plan.

A single crop may be cultivated on areas of under 10 hectares, but two different crops must be cultivated on areas between 10 and 30 hectares, while three different crops must be farmed on areas exceeding 30 hectares.

Mr. Czerván also stated that the Government plans to provide HUF 212 billion (EUR 890 million) in additional funding for the animal husbandry sector during the 2015-2020 period, of which 180 billion forints will be provided directly from the Hungarian national budget.

(MTI / Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)