Illustration - Photo: wikipedia

Ministry: Hungary-Austria agricultural ties must be further strengthened

Cooperation between Hungary and Austria must be further strengthened in agricultural digitalisation, plant domestication and damage compensation in agriculture, the Hungarian minister of agriculture said on Thursday after meeting his Austrian counterpart in Vienna, the ministry said.

Istvan Nagy said that the challenges faced by the sector in both countries were very similar, including the war in Ukraine and the effects of climate change. Maintaining the ecosystem and biological diversity were common responsibilities, Nagy said after talks with Norbert Totschnig.

The sides also discussed forestry, and Nagy called for a professional debate on what type of forestation was needed to reduce the effects of climate change.

He said Hungary was willing to share experiences in wheat-growing and GMO-free farming. Hungary is seeking solutions to the challenges of climate change in its gene banks, he said. The domestication of old Hungarian breeds has brought significant success, he added. Hungary operates one of the largest gene banks in the world, he noted.

Commenting on Ukrainian agricultural products, he said Hungary was determined to protect the interests of Hungarian famers and find long-term solutions.

Meanwhile, he said Hungarians could learn much from Austrians about consumer awareness. “We also look to Austria as an example in wine marketing,” he said.

“We’d also like to learn about the experiences gained in terms of Austria’s agricultural damage compensation systems, and Austria is an important partner in agricultural digitalisation,” he said.

Nagy participated in a Hungary-Austria economic roundtable where he highlighted the modernisation of the Hungarian agricultural sector. Hungary added “an unprecedented” 80 percent of its own funding to European Union resources in the current EU budget period, with more than 11,000 applicants already receiving some 1,500 billion forints investment support, he said.

Hungarian farmers spent 686 billion forints on developments last year, some 81 percent more, calculated at nominal prices, than in 2010, he said.

During his Austria visit, Nagy also held talks with Hans Peter Doskozil Doskoliz, the governor of Burgenland, the ministry said.

Leave a Reply