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Agriculture minister: Govt ready to ban Ukrainian grain imports

To protect Hungarian farmers, the government will ban the import of Ukrainian grain to Hungary from Sept. 16 -- if necessary, as a unilateral sovereign decision -- the agriculture minister said at an event on Saturday.

Should the European Union fail to prolong the ban on certain Ukrainian grain products to Europe before the measure expires on Sept. 15, Hungary will ban 24 products originally impacted by the EU measure rather than the four currently banned, Istvan Nagy told the Tranzit festival in Tihany, in western Hungary.

The glut of cheap Ukrainian products last year was the final in a series of shocks to hit Hungarian farmers, including the coronavirus pandemic, droughts, the war and its consequences and others, he said. Albeit sweetcorn harvest is expected to be record-breaking, trade is still plagued by cheap competition, he added.

Agriculture is one of the sectors to have received all the requested EU funding, providing some security for farmers in the coming seven years, he added.

As smaller farms are more vulnerable, farmers with up to 10 hectares also receive an additional 82 euros beyond the basic subsidies, and those with no more than 150 hectares receive 42 euros per hectare, he noted.

Nagy also welcomed the rise in the number of students enrolling in agricultural studies by 30 percent this year.

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