Hungarian budget helps out drought-stricken agriculture

Aid is coming in the form of feed transport, irrigation subsidies, and deferred loan repayments

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Magyar Hírlap
Dried-out pasture in Hungary. (Magyar Hírlap)

Based on the proposal of the operations task force for drought risk situations, the Hungarian government has ordered a moratorium on investment and working capital loans of agricultural enterprises from September 2022 until the end of 2023, Minister of Agriculture István Nagy said in a video uploaded to Facebook on Sunday.

Farmers can decide whether to take advantage of the given opportunity. In addition, livestock farmers in trouble will be provided with a HUF 3 billion (€7.42 million) feed delivery subsidy, Nagy explained. He announced that additional subsidies of HUF 1.4 billion will be given to support the increased energy costs of state irrigation plants serving the irrigation of agricultural areas. Irrigation across Hungary is a state-owned service.

The fact that producers can re-submit their requests for their extraordinary water usage needs can be of further help, and they will be automatically approved by the authority, Nagy said. The agriculture minister also announced that the government will speed up the assessment of drought damage and the payment of the awarded sums by the insurance companies. Insurers must pay the awarded amount to the farmers within 14 days from the notification of the drought damage, he said.

Nagy explained that by the end of July, due to the lack of rainfall since last autumn, severe or very severe droughts had developed in the vast majority of the country. After the 25 percent crop loss recorded for wheat, a significant part of the corn stock was destroyed in the Great Plains and Central Hungary, and now the crop in Transdanubia is threatened by drought.

In the Hungarian Plains areas, the grasslands are also completely dry, and the farmers cannot graze or mow. The situation in the sector is extraordinary and tragic in the plain areas, the politician added.

The operational staff will work continuously to monitor the situation in the sector, Nagy said, adding that the government is now waiting for the proposals of the farmers and will continue to work to find a short, medium, and long-term solution to the historic drought situation.

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