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Agriculture minister addresses FAO plenary session in Rome

Water is a strategic resource and the key to sustainable development, Agriculture Minister Istvan Nagy told a plenary session of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome on Monday.

Irrigation farming and improving the water-holding capacity of the soil and ecosystems are crucial to sustaining water supply and food production, the agriculture ministry cited Nagy as saying in his address.

Hungary prioritises irrigation using its surface waters, as a way of reducing excessive reliance on its groundwater resources, Nagy said. To this end, Hungary has created the legal conditions for the establishment of irrigation communities, of which more than 200 have been officially recognised across some 80,000 hectares of land, he added.

Meanwhile, the ministry said FAO member states, including Hungary, voted on Monday to re-elect China’s Qu Dongyu as the organisation’s director-general.

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