Hungary: Melon farmers in a tough spot

With more than ten thousand tons of Hungarian melons unsold, the damages are in the billions of euros.

A woman holding a slice of watermelon
©Foundry Co

The domestic alliance of Hungarian melon producers reported on Monday that Hungarian farmers who were unable to sell their fruits left more than ten thousand tons of unsold melons in the fields by the end of August and the beginning of September, before simply discing the produce into the ground.

The news portal Telex reports that multiple factors contributed to this outcome, including outdated farming technologies, the cold snap that the country experienced in the end of August and changing trends on the global market.

The domestic melon alliance posted on their Facebook page: ”There is some sort of disruption in trade. There are unharvested fields still full of melons, yet many traders won’t take the produce even for free. Others will pay €0.085 at best. That’s way below the production cost. Then sellers next to fields will offer melons for €0.4-0.6 per kilogram. Imported melons have started pouring in, as if the harvest season was over in the country. Something is very wrong here?”

Domestic farmers whose produce had not ripened by the beginning of August ended up losing the most. Csaba Kerezsi, the vice president of the melon farmers’ association reported to the news portal that losses will be worth at least €1.7-2 billion.

Although the Ministry of Agriculture recently continued its popularization campaign, confidently stating that the strong harvest will supply the domestic market with melons until the end of September, it seems that this optimistic projection will not really come true.

***

Get the full picture.

The Budapest-Belgrade team brings you curated newsflashes every Friday afternoon. These are quick, digestible, to-the-point briefings about all the latest developments in the Serbian and Hungarian agro sectors.

Today we bring you:

River in Hungary
©Dimitry Ljasuk

In the latest Hungary newsflash, you can find out more about a new ecological farming subsidy, challenges in the dairy industry, self-sufficient egg production and the protection of floodplains with grazing herds.