Farmers are protesting with road blockades across the EU against the agricultural policies
Brussels cannot put food security at risk, the EU leadership must return to normality because its decisions on agriculture are endangering our daily bread, the Minister of Agriculture said at a press conference in Budapest on Monday.
István Nagy said that the reason for European farmers’ protests is that EU agricultural policy has never been so influenced by “extremist green ideologies” as it is now, and that Brussels decision-makers do not understand that agriculture is an important part of the European economy.
The current policy cannot be continued, as uncontrolled imports of Ukrainian agricultural products threaten to have unforeseeable economic and social consequences. It appears that Brussels does not want a common solution and is not helping farmers in Eastern Europe, even though the production conditions in the EU and Ukraine are not the same. The effects of unfair competition will sooner or later be felt in all member states.
Therefore, decision-makers must represent the interests of farmers and workers here, not those outside the EU,”
the Minister of Agriculture said.
Minister of Agriculture István Nagy. Photo: MTI / Mónus Márton
The key challenges for the future will be to restructure production, stimulate agro-food investment and strengthen farmers’ liquidity, but this will require the most efficient use of subsidies.
He pointed out that last year more than HUF 1300B (EUR 3.3B) of agricultural support was disbursed, and this year HUF 2900B (EUR 7.4B) of rural development funds will start to be disbursed. The application schedule allows for optimal planning and the necessary funds are available in the Hungarian budget. Member states may also review EU crisis management market measures during the Hungarian Presidency in the autumn, the Minister added.
Katalin Süle, the National Chamber of Agriculture’s Vice-President for General Agricultural Affairs, expects the tenders to improve the efficiency of food production and processing. The Chamber of Agriculture also tried to help farmers to find their way in the world of innovation and technological development, and a series of forums, starting in mid-February, will be held in around 70 venues to showcase the available supports.
Katalin Süle. Photo: MTI / Mónus Márton
István Jakab, president of the farmers’ association MAGOSZ, called Brussels’ agricultural policy a “series of decisions based on crazy ideologies,” but said that some member states had already recognized that change was inevitable. He hoped that a comprehensive dialogue would emerge from the campaign ahead of the elections in June. The farmers’ position is clear, even in the face of today’s challenges:
they are in solidarity with their European colleagues and do not accept the “cynical decisions”
of the European Commission in response to the difficulties the EU leadership is facing in dealing with imports from Ukraine.
Via MTI; Featured Image: Pixabay