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Economy & Policy

FM Szijjártó: Strong, domestic companies are needed to guarantee a secure food supply

The present difficulties have further underlined the importance of supply security, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in Tiszafüred.

As MTI reported, the minister stressed at the inauguration of ABO HOLDING Zrt.’s new grain processing plant that the recent difficulties have further underlined the importance of security of supply. Although supply problems developed in many parts of the world during the pandemic, none occurred in Hungary, he stressed. 

Russia and Ukraine account for 16 percent of the world’s total grain exports, while the latter country is the European Union’s fourth-largest supplier, he said. 

A well-functioning food industry and the quest for self-sufficiency have become vital issues for every country. Szijjártó also said that it was a realistic goal to increase domestic ownership in the agri-food sector to 80 percent in the foreseeable future.

The development of the Hungarian-owned ABO HOLDING Zrt.’s grain and maize processing site was worth HUF 400 million, with a state subsidy of HUF 200 million, thus ensuring the preservation of 60 jobs.

Szijjártó said the government had made the right decision in introducing a prior-notification requirement for grain exports in view of the crisis. 

He also said that while the performance of the Hungarian food industry declined by 16 percent between 2004 and 2010, it increased by 29 percent between 2010 and 2020. During COVID-19, the sector’s performance grew by 7 percent in 2020, 17 percent in 2021 and 34 percent in the first month of this year. The volume of agricultural exports has increased by 82 percent in 10 years, he said.

Finally, the minister said that the Hungarian agricultural sector will receive around HUF 9 trillion from various sources in the coming years, triple the amount previously available.

He also stressed that under the investment incentive scheme announced during the epidemic, 164 developments, a vast majority of total investments made, were made in the food sector.

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