István Nagy, the minister of agriculture, said the government is committed to strengthening the agricultural sector’s resistance to droughts. “Irrigation is in the public interest, as the basis for secure food supplies," the minister said.
The government’s efforts in recent years have included setting up local irrigation communities, and distributing a total HUF 45 billion (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 the 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”.
Photo credit: Facebook/Nagy István