Agriculture Minister István Nagy on Thursday inaugurated “Hungary’s largest irrigation project” at the National Stud and Teaching Farm of Mezőhegyes, in south-east Hungary. The new system, built at a cost of 10.5 billion forints (EUR 25.6m), has doubled the farm’s irrigable land, the minister said in his address.
The minister pointed to irrigation systems as key to increase the competitiveness of the agriculture and “achieve food sovereignty”, adding that “we have reached that milestone”. He said the unprecedented droughts seen across Europe had affected 46% of Hungary’s arable land, and warned that water should be secured in the rainy season and reserved for dry periods. Regrettably, only about 50% of Hungary’s 174,200 hectares of currently irrigable land was actually irrigated in 2021, Nagy said, adding that the government was aiming to increase the irrigated area to 200,000 hectares by 2024, and to 350,000 hectares by 2030. The project was co-financed by the government, which provided 8.5 billion forints in the form of a capital raise.