Orbán said the government had had to formalise its cooperation with NAK and Magosz “because when the left came back into power, it came with a cost to rural Hungary”. He said it was therefore in the farm sector’s fundamental interest to “keep the left far away from agriculture policy” and government.
Orbán said while the output of the agricultural sector had declined by 20 percent and that of the food industry by 16 percent between 2004 and 2010, they had increased by 29 percent between 2010 and 2020, while value added per one hectare of farmland had risen by 45 percent.
Hungary’s farm sector saw the fastest growth in the EU between 2010 and 2021, with its profitability doubling in the period, the prime minister said.
Also, while Hungary in 2010 had 40 billion forints (EUR 104,000) to spend on new agricultural machinery, by 2020, it could spend 256 billion, he said, adding agricultural exports last year were up more than 10 percent compared with 2020.
Meanwhile, he said the government was spending more than 600 billion forints on developments as part of its Modern Cities scheme and spending on village development also exceeded 600 billion forints over three years.
Turning to the future, Orbán said farmland had to be under Hungarian ownership.
The prime minister said that the government would increase co-financing for agricultural subsidies from 17.5 percent to 80 percent. This means that counting EU funding and private investment, the agricultural sector will receive a total of 9,000 billion forints in support, he said.
“If this won’t be enough to modernise Hungarian agriculture then nothing will,” Orbán said, adding that “this is the last historic opportunity”. “If we don’t take this opportunity, our competitors will fly past us.”
He said this amount of support should be enough to have 80 percent of the country’s agriculture and food industry under Hungarian ownership. If 20 percent of the food industry is in foreign hands and 80 percent in Hungarian, then it’s possible to have 80 percent of the food that’s consumed be Hungarian, the prime minister added.
Orbán said that in order for rural Hungary to survive, all districts in the countryside must enjoy the same civilizational achievements that are present in cities.
Rural Hungary needs proper jobs, good public education and health care, leisure activities, quality roads and internet access. In its agreement with the agricultural organisations, the government has undertaken to ensure that no one should have to commute more than an hour a day to have a European quality of life, he said.
Hungary can and will be “the winner of the future” if it puts its two most important natural resources, farmland and water to good use and builds a self-sufficient economy, Orbán said.
He told the participants of the congress not to “let the city folk . talk us out of building Paks II”.
Orbán also talked about the need to preserve the majority Hungarian ownership in Hungary’s banking system and encouraged those in attendance to buy government securities.
As regards the election, the prime minister expressed hope that in the long run political and partisan affiliation would be passed down within families, “so that after some time, one would not have to think about how one votes because they would vote the same way their parents and grandparents had done”.