There is increasing demand for the social land programme; therefore, the increased allocation of HUF 250 million assigned for this purpose will also be available in 2014 or may even increase, Zoltán Kovács, Minister of State of the Ministry of Human Resources stated.
The land programme that forms part of the social care system provides various preferential benefits primarily for disadvantaged families to improve their living and to offer an independent livelihood, Zoltán Kovács said.
As part of the programme, 101 localities were awarded aid last year, while this year 151 localities received funds which local governments distributed in the form of sowing seeds, seedlings and young animals.
The participants of the programme cultivated some 500 hectares of land this year. These landed areas are mostly the given local government’s own or rented areas; however, in a number of localities, the gardens of derelict, unused houses left without owners are also used with the involvement of public works employees, he said.
The social land programme that serves as a model and an example creates job opportunities, the fruit and vegetables produced supply the kitchens of local public institutions and schools with ingredients and some localities set up networks of social stores for the preferential local sale of the produce, the Minister of State added.
Based on the experiences of the mayors of the localities concerned, the model programme is useful for the entire community. People have restored self-esteem in consequence of the valuable work they perform, instead of the collection of benefits, the villages concerned may even seek to achieve self-sufficiency, and the families may obtain extra income. These factors combined also have a favourable impact on the quality of life, and young people are happy to stay in their localities, Zoltán Kovács remarked.