One of the most important events concerning agriculture was held in Budapest last week. The “Global Forum and Expo on Family Farming” was organized by the Hungarian Ministry of Rural Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).

According to the organizers its first aim was to bring leading politicians, experts and family farmers together, however the Ministry had a goal even beyond this: the object was not just organizing one more forum for those, who have already been involved but to present the importance of family farming to the greater public.

The Forum and Expo was held between March 4 and 6 with participants and exhibitors from four continents. While visitors of the Expo area could familiarize with traditional Hungarian foods as well as exotic products of foreign lands, important guidelines of family farming were accepted at the Forum.


Attention must be paid to the fact that, despite globalization and the lobby of the leading food production companies, politicians still seem to care about those entrepreneurs, who make food on their own, with the help of their family members.
Participating ministers, political actors and experts have agreed on the key-importance of family farming in several fields. It was concluded that family farming is not just an asset in order to mitigate hunger but it can contribute to food security and can solve serious social problems like decreasing poverty and moving towards urban areas. The conclusion of the Forum highlighted the role of women and young farmers as well.


Despite the catchy conclusions, it is rather questionable whether these slogans will be followed by any measures. The reason is simple: helping small entrepreneurs is not a business that can generate huge incomes and do not serve the interest of the economic powers. Yet, the Forum and Expo brought many foreigners to Budapest and helped a little in focusing the attention of the policymakers of agriculture to Hungary. Even if nothing will be achieved, our country image has – hopefully – got better.

by SzSz



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