The government is committed to strengthening the agricultural sector’s resistance against droughts, the minister of agriculture, István Nagy, said in a Facebook video. “Irrigation is in the public interest, as the basis for secure food supplies”. The government’s efforts in recent years have included setting up local irrigation communities, and distributing a total 45 billion forints (EUR 113.5m) among farmers to develop their own systems, the minister said, adding that a further 70 billion forints will be available for the same purpose between 2023 and 2027. Since 2020, when parliament passed a law on irrigation systems, which paved the way for irrigation communities, 118 such groups have been formed irrigating over 56,000 hectares of land, Nagy said, adding that a further 68 communities had appealed for registration.
In recent years, the government has facilitated construction of eight reservoirs nationwide, with a total capacity of 5 million cubic metres, Nagy said, adding however that the country’s water management system called for a “thorough restructuring” and warned that “farming is no longer possible without irrigation amid changing climatic conditions”.