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Support for beekeepers, massive afforestation and development of irrigation were named as important pillars of climate protection measures at a press conference held by István Nagy, Hungary’s minister of agriculture, here on Thursday.

“Applications for support from the National Beekeeping Program can be submitted from Thursday, in an amount close to 1.8 billion Hungarian forints (5.76 million U.S. dollars),” Nagy said, adding that the ministry estimated that some 6,500 beekeepers would take part in the program co-financed by the European Union (EU).

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“The Ministry of Agriculture is also contributing to climate protection through afforestation and irrigation,” he said.

Afforestation aims to increase the country’s forest area to 27 percent by 2030, which will require the cultivation of 250,000 hectares.

This can be achieved by planting new trees and converting naturally wooded areas into forests, according to Nagy.

“There are three areas for afforestation: state afforestation programs, which are ongoing; the launch of a roadside afforestation program; and the afforestation of areas that are no longer needed for defense purposes, implemented jointly with the Ministry of Defense,” Nagy explained.

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The objective of planting ten trees for each newborn in Hungary, announced by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Feb. 16, means planting about one million trees a year, Nagy said, adding that the new forests would be created mainly in the northeast of Hungary, where geographic conditions are the best.

Irrigation development also serves climate protection goals: the government will spend 17 billion Hungarian forints annually from this year on increasing irrigated areas, Nagy said

Source: Xinhua – BUDAPEST

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