Starting this year, the government will add 80 percent to the funds coming through the program, compared to the previous 17.5 percent — the highest level of co-financing from a national budget in the EU. Between 2014 and 2020, no Member State added that much money from its own budget to EU rural development funds and is unlikely to do so in the future, Minister of Agriculture István Nagy said.
The decision has historical significance for agriculture, the food industry and rural settlements, he added, tripling the resources of the current Rural Development Program 2014-2020.
The government itself will be spending HUF 4.3 trillion over the next seven years on the development of the Hungarian countryside, Hungarian agriculture and the food industry.
Meanwhile, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the EU’s subsidy program, will help Hungarian agricultural companies with an additional HUF 3.3 trillion, Nagy said.
The first phase will entail programs and calls announced in the first half of 2021. EU regulations will change in 2023, but the boost in national co-financing will already apply to 2021 and 2022.
The second stage will establish the precise directions for use of the funds under the Strategic Plan for the Common Agricultural Policy for the period 2023-2027.
Balázs Győrffy, President of the National Chamber of Agriculture (NAK), recalled that they explained in detail what steps were essential to improve the competitiveness of their members in their multi-annual development proposal package issued in 2018. Key points then included expanding development resources and increasing the co-financing of CAP.
According to István Jakab, President of the National Association of Hungarian Farmers’ Circles and Farmers’ Cooperatives (Magosz), serious organization and cooperation are needed to make sure the funds are used wisely for the benefit of farmers.