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Nagy: Government to introduce five-point action plan in agriculture

The government has decided to introduce a five-point action plan to handle the situation that has developed in Europe's agricultural sector, Istvan Nagy, the minister of agriculture, said on Thursday.

Nagy told a regular government press briefing that comprehensive reporting obligation would be introduced on all products whose imports from Ukraine are banned, no matter what country they originate from. The government has also made arrangements to ensure that area- and livestock-based subsidies would be paid by the State Treasury by May 31 this year. Nagy said the government has also decided to provide by 2026 an additional up to 45 billion forints (EUR 115m) for the Agrarian Szechenyi Card scheme.

The government will increase to 90 percent the tax refund threshold on diesel fuel used in agriculture which Nagy said could leave an annual 1 billion forint extra support with farmers.

“In the current situation the role of government help will increase in the sector, in areas including increased transparency on imports, subsidies, credit financing and future developments,” he added.

Intervention is needed as a result of the serious excess supply and significant drop in prices in the sector’s market, he said. The reason is a European Union decision made in 2022, under which Ukraine is allowed to export agricultural products to the EU duty-free and without restrictions, he said.

“Ukrainian products have entered the markets of EU countries in large volume, significantly limiting the sales opportunities of the individual member states,” the minister said, adding that “it seems obvious that Brussels and the European Commission have let down European farmers and instead support the Ukrainian oligarchs”.

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