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ORBÁN: AGRICULTURE CRUCIAL FOR NATIONAL SELF-ESTEEM

 

Hungary’s agricultural sector is vital to the country’s national self-esteem, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at a book presentation. A look at the past decades reveals that rural Hungary “was among the biggest losers” when it came to the distribution of resources, developments, investments and the drafting of modern regulations, Orbán said at the presentation of “Everything for the Future of Rural Hungary” co-authored by former Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas. The prime minister said Fazekas had been appointed minister in 2010 with the task of “getting the countryside back on its feet”. Since then, the government has protected the Hungarian farmland and provided significant opportunities for the agricultural sector, he said. He argued that people living in the countryside oversee their own plots which have clear borders and assume responsibility for the way and quality of life on that land. Orbán said it was this sense of responsibility that explained why rural Hungarians “have given so many good leaders to Hungarian politics”. Orbán noted that in the 1990s much of the country’s political discourse was focused on the future of agriculture. The sector needed predictability and the issue around farmlands needed to be settled. The matter was ultimately settled by allocating 80% of farmland to small and medium-sized holdings and 20% to large landowners, he said. He said the government’s job was to allocate the necessary resources and technologies, devote enough attention and guarantee the proper legal environment to the countryside and farmers, he said. Fazekas said the book details the state of Hungary’s agricultural sector from the decades before the country’s transition to democracy all the way to the changes enacted by the second and third Orbán governments between 2010 and 2018.