Berlin, January 20 (MTI) – The world’s biggest farm and food expo, Berlin’s Internationale Gruene Woche (IGW), has opened with Hungary as guest of honour, and farm minister Sándor Fazekas was on hand on Friday to unveil the country’s 1,700 metre stand presenting 33 exhibitors of high-quality, GMO-free produce.
Fazekas was joined by his German counterpart Christian Schmidt and Berlin’s mayor Michael Muller.
Fazekas told an international press briefing that the Hungarian producers exhibiting at the event counted on new business opportunities. Germany, he noted, is Hungary’s biggest market for farm produce and food, and last year’s estimated exports totalled 1.3 billion euros, a 50 percent increase over five years.
The minister said that Hungary’s farm production accounts for 4.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and it contributed 0.6 of a percentage point to overall economic growth of 2.1 percent in the first three quarters of last year, surpassing the contribution of machine production and the automotive industry.
Fazekas noted that Hungary had been the first country in the world to insert into its constitution a clause banning the cultivation and use of genetically modified organisms. The most burning issue of the Global Food and Agriculture Forum being held at the IGW concerns agriculture’s access to water and its dependency on the resource. Hungary represents the standpoint that the spread of the use of GMOs is not a solution to water scarcity, he said.Pálinka
Fazekas said he will have bilateral talks with his counterparts from Holland, Estonia and Saudi Arabia, among others.
He is set to sign a Hungary-Germany cooperation agreement with Schmidt concerning the digitalisation of agriculture and how this reaches into more and more areas in the economy and everyday life.
IGW is being held for the 82nd time with representatives from 66 countries until Jan 29.