A catastrophic food shortage in many poor countries worldwide cannot be avoided unless “a corridor is opened from Ukraine to transport grain by land”, István Nagy, the minister of agriculture, said in an interview to daily Magyar Nemzet published on Tuesday.
Such a move requires high-level international cooperation, the minister said, adding that “the infrastructure to receive and forward 20 million tonnes of grain should be built first”. He warned that any delay in implementation could lead to mounting social tensions and “even to the war spreading to other countries”.
Concerning the Hungarian economy, Nagy said 4,265 billion forints (EUR 1.1bn) will be spent on modernising the agricultural and food sector in the next four years. “This is over three times as much as in the past seven years, and it means that we can close the gap with our competitors,” he insisted.
Hungary is in a good position because “we can produce twice as much food as we need”, he said.
“Even so, we cannot relax because changes in the global market will impact the Hungarian economy,”
he added, noting that blocked grain deliveries from Ukraine have caused panic and escalating prices.
On the subject of farmland ownership in Hungary, the minister said
“a nation’s sovereignty is indicated by who owns its land”,
adding that the government was working to ensure that “as much land as possible is owned by the producers working it.”
On another subject, Nagy said the Slovak authorities had launched a procedure concerning serious pollution on the River Sajó, and “after a long delay” decontamination of the river had begun.