Hungary Newsflash Week 48

A massive investment into apple production and processing, fall harvest and sowing numbers from the fields, a new Hunarian feed innovation that might just replace livestock antibiotics and the bakery industry's realization that winter is coming - The week in Hungarian agriculture

The LAN Budapest-Belgrade team presents:

Farminar 3 - Organic Waste Utilization: From Trash to Treasure

Re-using organic waste and sidestreams is paramount to combatting climate change but it can also generate extra profit for the primary and secondary sectors. The Farminar 3 webinar will provide an overview of organic waste streams in Hungary, review the theoretic and practical approaches to the utilization of organic waste and provide a platform to exchange best practices in the field of circular organic waste re-usal.

Date, location: December 14, 14:00-15:15 CET (UTC+1), online (via Zoom)
How to register: Send an email with your name, organization and email address to
Beeld: ©Joanna Nix-Walkup
Hungary's apple production has highly varied in the past 15 years - Yields ranged from a total of 170 thousand to 780 thousand tons. The new apple storage facility in Újfehértó will have a capacity of 9 thousand tons and will also serve packaging, sorting, extension, post-harvest logistics and research functions.

Harvest figures of 2021 are in

The Ministry of Agriculture has communicated to the press the figures of this season’s harvest yields. Maize was cultivated over 1 million hectares of farmland in Hungary this year, the final tally of the harvest is 6 million metric tons. With an average of 6 tons/hectare, the yield is 16% lower than the last five years’ average and the volume of the produce is 30-35% lower than the maize produced in previous years, although it will be enough to satisfy domestic demands.

Sunflower yields were 2.6 t/ha, this figure is 5-10% lower than averages in the past years. In total, 655 thousand hectares of sunflower plantations yielded 1.7 million tons of produce.

Soy was cultivated over 63 thousand hectares and with a 2.6 t/ha average yield, 164 thousand tons of produce was harvested, which is about the same level as last year’s harvest but 6% lower than the last five years’ average.

The fall sowing season has also been concluded, 960 thousand hectares of farmland have been sowed with winter wheat, winter barley has been sowed in 261 thousand hectares of land, both values are 10% higher than the 2020 figures.

Hungary’s biggest apple production facility to be completed by March 2022

A new apple production center is now under construction in Újfehértó, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county, in Eastern Hungary. Minister for Agriculture István Nagy has commented that the new facility will be a research, extension and post-harvest logistics center which will also double as a storage, sorting and packaging complex with a capacity of 9 thousand tons.

The Minister also expressed his belief that the new facility will be “the cornerstone of renewing Hungary’s apple production.” Hungary’s apple production is normally between 500-600 thousand tons in an average year, however, for the past 15 years, apple harvest yields varied greatly, between 170 thousand and 780 thousand tons.

Parallel to the construction of the new facility, an orchard plantation subsidy scheme has also been launched. Farmers have applied for grants worth €55.2 million in total, with plans to plant 2500 hectares of apple orchards.

The organization of the supply chain of the new facility is also underway. Discussions about the project will be on the agendas of various farmers’ forums in the coming period.

Construction is planned to be finished in March 2022, after which the new facility is planned to commence its operations in July.

Close-up of a curious pig's snout sticking out of behind a fence.
Beeld: ©Pexels
The new feed additive developed at the University of Debrecen can help reduce the amount of antibiotics that is needed in livestock farming.

Hungarian innovation: A new feed additive out of horticultural byproducts

Researchers at the University of Debrecen have created a new animal feed additive rich in bioactive substances out of horticultural fruit and vegetable byproducts.

In their research project, the scientists have used food processing byproducts, including paprika, tomato, sour cherry and grape paste. These contain large amounts of highly valuable bioactive elements including carotenoids, anthocyanins, flavonoids and lycopene, which have beneficial physiological, immune-boosting, antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-allergic and anti-cancer effects.

These are important substances, some of which are vital supplements because animals’ bodies cannot produce them.

In the future, the new feed additive can help boost animals’ weakened immune systems, which will in turn preventing infections and inflammations. This can help reduce the amount of antibiotics used in livestock farming and it might also enable the large-scale raising of livestock in a completely antibiotics-free environment.

Bakery sector headed towards mass shutdowns

The portal Trade Magazin reports that due to an increase in prices and costs, bakeries in Hungary are now headed towards mass shutdowns. Logistical and energy costs have been increasing, and the price of bread and bakery products have been in turn rising as well.

In December, the milling industry started to raise the price of flour, and imported materials will also see high prices in the coming period.

Flour alone has become 40% more expensive this year. Stakeholders think that many bakeries that do not have streamlined production processes, and lack modern machinery will not be able to survive in the coming period. The domestic bakery union expects that out of the nine hundred currently active bakery companies in the country, hundreds will shut down in the coming period and by the end of 2023, only around five hundred will remain. Meanwhile, a centralization process is happening in the industry, large, capital-intensive production facilities are being constructed, and these companies are buying up smaller competitors.

However, small bakeries will not disappear. The domestic alliance reports that a number of new bakery SMEs have been launched in the past period. These are small, artisanal companies that create high-quality bakery products – And they are going strong because the demand for quality baked goods is increasing.