The Slovenian Ministry of Agriculture international ministerial conference entitled “Rural Areas and Agriculture as an Opportunity for Young People” this Friday in Maribor, at which the guest of honour was Macedonia. At the event traditionally held on the day before the opening of the AGRA international fair, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Minister of State for Rural Development said that Hungary considers supporting young farmers and improving the housing opportunities of young families in rural areas as equally important.

Miklós Kis pointed out that one of the two sub-programmes of the Rural Development Programme supports the generational transition and tenders with a total budget of nearly HUF 80 billion (EUR 246 million) have been announced to help young farmers start their businesses and stimulate investments.

The Minister of State stressed that access to available, good quality land is an important starting criterion for young farmers. The Government has facilitated this with the “Land for Farmers’ programme, within the framework of which more than 1200 young farmers under 40 obtained a total of 50,000 hectares of land between 2015 and 2016. As regards agricultural digitalisation, Mr. Kis called attention to the Digital Agricultural Strategy under development and the Digital Agricultural Academy to be established in collaboration with the National Agricultural Chamber.

At the roundtable discussion of young farmers, the President of the Zala County chapter of the Chamber of Agriculture said that educational campaigns addressed to farmers are popularised through rural roadshows. Katalin Süle also drew attention to highlighted AGRA programmes aimed at raising awareness of the environmental education of young people and the early recognition of agricultural opportunities, as well as promoting career orientation and promoting agricultural training.

At the end of the event, the participating countries adopted a 17-point declaration in which they expressed their commitment to promoting the generational renewal of agricultural workers and creating favourable legislative and administrative conditions at both national and EU level.

On the second day of the conference, Miklós Kis visited the 56th AGRA international fair in Gornja Radgona.

The Minister of State also viewed the Hungarian exhibition stands. This year, 16 exhibitors presented their valuable products, including oak wine barrels, beekeeping equipment, ice cream machines, packaging materials and seed-cleaning equipment. The participants also exhibited processed products, and promoted ICT and IT services. At the nationality stand, Miklós Kis met with József Balaskó, President of the Association of Hungarian Farmers and Entrepreneurs in Prekmurje to discuss economic cooperation programmes, educational and training programmes and inter-chamber cooperation opportunities in the Carpathian Basin.

(Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)