Beregszász (in Ukrainian: Berehove) (MTI) – More than 300 ethnic Hungarian farmers in Transcarpathia (in Hungarian: Kárpátalja) signed contracts on receiving funding worth almost 600 million forints (EUR 1.9m) in Beregszász on Saturday as part of the Hungarian government’s Transcarpathian economic development programme.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, government commissioner István Grezsa said these are the first contracts on allocating funding to ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia from the funds of 32 billion forints of the economic development programme.
Grezsa said it was symbolic that funding is allocated first to farmers in the region as in the last one-third of Hungarian history it was the peasantry that represented Hungarians and their inexhaustible economic and human resources.
He said the success of the farm subsidy tender is a result of a joint effort of the motherland, the Hungarian organisations of Transcarpathia and the historic churches. It shows that in spite of all the difficulties, the ethnic Hungarians of Transcarpathia are able to show strength, preserve their identity and survive in their home country.
Further funding contracts are expected to be signed in Transcarpathia before Christmas, the government commissioner said.
This year, grants worth 2 billion forints will be allocated, to be followed by 5 billion forints in each of the following two years, and there is also a preferential credit limit of 20 billion forints available, Grezsa added.
Marianna Berki, head of the Ede Egan Transcarpathian Economic Development Centre Foundation, told MTI that funding has been allocated to 343 farmers in several categories, adding that a further 127 applications met the conditions of the tender but received no funding this time due to the limited amount of funds available. However, the Hungarian government pledged to disburse funding of a further 300 million forints before the end of this year for these applications.