Food price inflation is driven by high energy costs linked to European Union sanctions against Russia, an agriculture ministry official has said, arguing that sanctions policies should be changed to curb high food prices with a view to boosting food security. The sector increasingly hinges on knowledge-intensive technologies, and the future and competitiveness of Hungarian agriculture largely depends on providing further relevant training opportunities for rural inhabitants, Oszkár Ökrös, the ministry’s deputy state secretary for international relations, told an OECD meeting of agriculture ministers entitled Building sustainable agricultural and food systems in a changing environment.
The deputy state secretary said common challenges included boosting agricultural productivity while jointly implementing climate protection measures. This requires adapting to climate conditions by making better informed planting choices. But doing so requires close social cooperation between farmers and consumers, including changing consumption and production habits, he added. A well-trained workforce and the successful transfer of skills is key to the success of Hungary’s agricultural sector, Ökrös told the meeting. Hungary is paying higher advances on EU direct subsidies, making cheap working capital loans available for agricultural enterprises, and postponing loan repayments linked to working capital and investments from September 2022 to December 2023, among other measures, the statement said.