Hungary: Never-before-seen climate damages expected in agriculture

The harvest has been entirely destroyed by the drought over hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland in Hungary.

Artistic picture of the rising sun with its beams breaking through a grove of trees nearby a dry meadow
Beeld: ©Molnár Bálint

Minister István Nagy has stated this week that this year’s drought damages might be “twice the total of the sum of damages in the past ten years.” According to Mr. Nagy, the damage incurred by the dry period “grows every day,” and currently 690 hectares of farmland have been devastated by the drought.

The minister also added that droughts in the past have always seriously reduced yields but this summer, in certain regions, the harvest has been entirely destroyed which has never been seen before. Mr. Nagy added that the water levels of the River Tisza has reached a historical record low and the water volume of the River Danube is currently 40% of its average value.

Minister Nagy further commented that irrigation will be of cardinal importance in the future and that there is no immediate solution to the situation, however, the country’s water storage capacities must be boosted so that as much water can be retained from rainy periods as possible. The minister further added that the increase of food prices is affected by this, but also by the ongoing war, and that even if a peace agreement could be reached, food prices could not immediately return to their levels before the war.