ÖMKi organized the professional meeting, Dialogue for development of Hungarian organic agriculture, 6th February 2014 in the Ignác Darányi Hall of the Ministry of Rural Development. About 150 participants attended to gather information on current issues of the organic sector:
The recently created National Organic Farming Action Plan,
The new agriculture subsidy and institution system being under preparation and
The planned new organic regulation of the EU and the expected effects of these.
The aim of the program was to provide a wide overview of the ministry’s current plans, have a positive influence on these processes, draw up and represent the viewpoint of professionals, and represent the interests of organic farming.
Participants were greeted by Dr. József Viski head of the Ministry’s Strategic Department, on behalf of Katalin Tóth deputy under-secretary of state. Dr. Viski summarized political events concerning organic agriculture, development ideas, and the decision-making process of the government. As part of the presentation, department head of Food Chain Management Dr. Zoltán Gombos spoke about the final release of Hungary’s 2014-2020 National Organic Farming Strategy.
Director General of NAKVI, Dr. Dávid Mezőszentgyörgyi, provided details on the seven-year agriculture and rural development subsidy period that will soon be starting to those in attendance. Horticulture, animal husbandry, food processing, water management, and local economic development are priorities in the Rural Development Program for the 2014-2020 period (now in acceptance process); considerable resources will be available within these application areas.
Ágnes Juhász and Anna Rónai (NÉBIH), gave a presentation on the legal systems for organic agriculture in Hungary and the EU, continuing rules, those recently changed, functions and tasks of the Hungarian authorities. Especially pleasing was the news that NÉBIH will take measures to create a uniform list of products (nutritive materials, plant protection products, etc.) allowable in organic farming. ÖMKi first proposed the uniform list in October 2012. NÉBIH looks to form and coordinate a ’product list round table’ with representative members from the sector.
These presentations were followed with questions and comments from the audience often generating noteworthy professional dialogue. Some people were specifically asked to comment: Gábor Czeller (chairman of Hungarian Bioculture Association), Dr. Gábor Solti (chairman of Sárközy Péter Foundation for Bioculture and Association of Organic Farmers in the Carpathian Basin), Róbert Fidrich (programme leader of MTVSZ) and Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, dealing with protecting the interests of future generations, Dr. Marcel Szabó, informed the audience about several actions enhancing organic agriculture.
The rest of the day was devoted to specific tasks necessary for better utilization of the organic farming sector’s potential and organic farming methods. First Dr. Ákos Malatinszky, Deputy Chairman of National Council for Environmental Protection spoke about organic agriculture as a farming method preserving the landscape and the richness of nature. His illustrated lecture gave specific examples of the importance of organic farming in environmental protection.
Dr. Dóra Drexler, managing director of ÖMKi, gave lecture about the importance of Research and Development in development of Hungarian organic agriculture. The aim of collective success over the long run is only possible through cooperation of members in the sector, assessment of market demands, and use of coordinated and balanced development means.
Effective plant protection in organic agriculture is a biggest challenge for many farmers. In his presentation titled ’Creating conditions for professional organic plant protection’, Managing Director of Biocont Magyarország Kft., Gyula László, spoke about organic plant protection products available for organic farmers, their mechanism of action, and usage. The needed uniform list of organic products and importance of professional cooperation also surfaced here.
To close the professional meeting, Imre Hubai Jr., vice-chairman of National Agriculture Chamber (NAK), spoke about concepts for development and actions of the recently reformed organization related to organic agriculture.