The government is increasing compensation to farmers fourfold to help them offset their losses due to last year’s extreme drought, Agriculture Minister István Nagy said on Wednesday. Fully 50.6 billion forints (EUR 129.1m) will be awarded to around 22,000 farmers by March 31, he said.
Roughly 80% of Hungary’s farmland, or 1.45 million hectares, were harmed by the drought, and 49.7 billion forints will be spent on mitigating the damage, he said. Insurance subsidies introduced in the past decade have also helped, Nagy said, noting that insurance companies paid a further 41 billion forints in connection with last year’s extreme weather.
The government has set up an operative body to handle drought emergencies, and it has taken measures to ensure the sector’s financial stability, the minister said. The government acted on the body’s proposal to delay farmer loan repayments to the end of 2023, while it also raised European Union subsidy pre-financing to 322 billion forints, he added. Thanks to such measures and a generally robust Hungarian economy, Hungarian agriculture has weathered the situation, he said.