Budapest, September 23 (MTI) – The government will propose to parliament to wrap up the auctions of state-owned farmland and will use the expected 270 billion forints (EUR 880m) in revenue from the sales to reduce public debt, the farm ministry said on Friday.
If parliament approves the series of bills submitted by the ministry, it will officially wrap up the auctions of farmlands larger than 3 hectares.
Hungary started auctioning the land to local farmers under the Land to Farmers programme last October and planned to wind up the third and final round of auctions by the end of July.
The ministry said the farmland sales scheme had contributed greatly to increasing the share of privately-owned plots smaller than 300 hectares in relation to privately-owned larger plots. Some 80 percent of privately-owned farmlands are now plots smaller than 300 hectares, whereas before the land privatisation programme their share was 50 percent, they added.
Altogether 30,000 farmers had bought about 70 percent of the nearly 290,000 hectares of farmland that were put up for auction, the ministry said.