Hungary pays out HUF 360 bn in agricultural subsidies

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HUF 360 billion, or 35% of the HUF 1,300 billion Regional Development Operational Programme, has already been paid out in subsidies to a total of 188,000 winners, Zsolt Feldman, state secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said at an event on Wednesday.
This means that payments made now amount to nearly triple the HUF 166 billion figure available in the public subsidy database, while the number of winners is more than double the 91,000 given there. The sizeable difference is mostly down to technical reasons, as the database at palyazat.gov.hu does not contain all actual payments made and applications approves due to data submission difficulties.

Speaking at an event focusing on grain farming, Feldman also shared the following statistics regarding the Regional Development Operational Programme:
  • 35% of the total budget, HUF 460 billion, has been paid out already,
  • 188,000 of the 250,000 applications received so far have been approved,
  • the food industry has been awarded HUF 113 billion so far in 650 successful applications,
  • winemakers received HUF 35 billion, while 4,500 horticultural applications were awarded nearly HUF 80 billion in total,
  • the budget also covers subsidies to livestock farms and support to young agricultural producers,
  • ÖKO ecological subsidies totalled HUF 97 billion in 4,500 applications, involving 237,000 hectares of farmland combined.


Feldman was speaking about the state of the cereal sector, subsidies supporting agricultural production and the expected changes to the EU's Common Agricultural Policy after 2020 at the event. Evaluating 2018, he said field cropping had a decent year as total harvest was roughly 5% higher than a year earlier despite less land farmed, which means per-hectare yields rose.

Feldman also spoke about the ten-year irrigation development scheme, which aims to increase irrigated land area by 100,000 hectares as early as by 2024. Starting from 2020, the government will provide HUF 17 billion a year over 10 years for infrastructure developments related to irrigation.

Regarding the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Feldman said the European Commission proposed to cut its budget and decrease direct payments by 16% and rural development subsidies by 26% after 2020. Meanwhile, environmental requirements and eligibility for subsidies will be tightened, the state secretary added. Intense talks are underway, but Feldman said

due to complicated and protracted EU decision-making and often distant positions, the new system will definitely not be introduced on January 1, 2021 and there will be at least one transitional year before the new system of subsidies is implemented.

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