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Agriculture Ministry official calls on EU to show solidarity with eastern European farmers

The European Union should demonstrate solidarity with eastern European farmers to enable the sale of reserves currently stuck in storage as a result of Ukraine grain imports, Agriculture Ministry state secretary Zsolt Feldman said late on Tuesday.

Feldman told MTI after a meeting of EU farm ministers in Brussels that Hungary had recommended the EU offer extraordinary support for grain deliveries to free up stores for local farmers ahead of the harvest.

Hungary has also asked the EU to extend restrictions on imports of Ukrainian grain and oilseed in place in five neighbouring EU member states “at least until the end of the year”, Feldman said.

He said a decision on extraordinary financial support from the EU for farmers in countries impacted by the grain glut had not been taken at the meeting on Tuesday, but added that the 15.9 million euros Hungary would be entitled to was “rather a political gesture, not real compensation” when grain stores in the country were still half full ahead of the harvest.

Markets in Hungary and neighbouring countries were flooded with grain and other farm products from Ukraine after the EU introduced exemptions from customs duties and quotas with the aim of expediting deliveries to countries in the Middle East and Africa.

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