YFC Briefing: Hungary Providing a Welcome Opportunity

Article excerpt

THE YFCU has just completed another successful PEJA visit to both Hungary and Romania when the members had time to explore the culture and history of the region.

This was also an opportune time for the group to look at the agricultural potential of the region in advance of Hungary joining the European Union next year.

There is no doubt that Hungary has an enormous potential to develop its tourist industry.

The capital city of Budapest, which is split in two by the Danube, has much to offer tourists. The Buda region of the city has many old, historic building including the famous Buda Castle.

Outside the Capital city, the group took time to visit other tourist sites including the 70,000 ha Hortobagy National Park. This is one of the largest protected steppe regions within Europe where Hungarian Grey cattle, stud horses, Racka sheep and buffalo herds could be seen grazing open pastures. Time was also spent relaxing in one of the many natural Geothermal Spas.

During the trip to both Hungary and Transylvania (Western Romania), visits were made to various State Farms, Cooperative farms, Research Institutes and a milk processing plant.

Within the Great Hungarian Plain, the fertile soils make it an ideal location for growing cereal, oil and sugar crops and it is difficult to see how Western European countries could compete against this region.

Within the Hungarian Plain, farmers are able to produce approximately 4.5 t/ha of winter wheat with little or no nutrient inputs.

The Great Hungarian Plain is also the main dairying region within Hungary. Currently Hungarian dairy farmers are getting approximately 21p/l for the milk they produce which is all processed into valued added products such as yoghurts cheeses and chocolate snacks.

As the country is a net importer of dairy produce, farmers are currently being encouraged to increase their dairy output. …