Hungary: New ecological program announced

New subsidies for water conserving farming methods will be introduced as a part of the "voluntary agro-ecological program”.

Water flowing in a stream next to a verdant green field
Beeld: ©eyestetix

The Ministry of Agriculture of Hungary has announced that for the new financial period starting in 2023, there will be new financial tools to foster water-conserving farming practices called the „voluntary agro-ecological program”.

"The increasing frequency of long, dry periods makes it vital that our farmers consciously adopt technologies that help retain water and soil moisture, and maintain soil fertility," the Ministry said in a statement.

The statement also says that the planned green measures of the Hungarian Common Agricultural Policy Strategic Plan submitted to the European Commission at the end of last year – yet to be approved – includes support elements for water conservation. The Ministry stated to the news portal Agro Napló that they expect significantly better results in this area in the future than in the current period.

The support measure will aim to help farmers maintain good environmental conditions for water retention, including minimum soil cover requirements, but also other measures like the conservation of protected landscape features, grassland, designation of water protection strips, small ponds, tree and shrub groups, wooded shrub strips as areas of ecological importance and the creation of secondary ecological importance contributed to water conservation.

The Ministry also adds that another requirement for the protection of wetlands and marshes will be included in the regulation of the subsidy at a later stage.

Among the optional specifications of the newly launched “voluntary agro-ecological program”, winter mulching, no-tillage, soil conditioners and microbiological treatments, plantation cover crops and micro-irrigation incentives will be included to help with water conservation.


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