“The Carpathian Basin has preserved one of the oldest agricultures in Europe. Hungary has outstanding natural assets; its varied ecological specifics are favourable for biodiversity. Our crop varieties and farm animal species of outstanding value have evolved over long centuries, under special climatic and ecological conditions”, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Sándor Farkas said in his presentation at the 6th International Conference on Organic Agriculture Sciences (ICOAS) in Eisenstadt.

Mr. Farkas underlined that Hungary’s genetic resources for food and agriculture, and its domestic crop varieties and farm animal species, are our national heritage of priority importance: our common assets. Biodiversity is indispensable for human life: this is what provides, amongst others, the ecological basis for healthy food, clean water and clean air.

Mr. Farkas pointed out that the Hungarian gene preservation strategy and GMO-free policy provide substantial assistance to organic farming and the achievement of its objectives. The government considers the search for and collection, preservation, sustainment and utilisation of genetic resources accessible within the Carpathian Basin an important nutrition and food security issue, the Deputy Minister confirmed. He referred to gene preservation activities and to the substantial increasing in the role of the state in the relevant functions as top priority government objectives. In his words, the goal is to operate a national gene bank network that is always available as an inventory of assets, their separately stored duplicates held by the state, safeguarding the gene pool to be used in case of any disease or natural disaster, or simply to improve a species.

“Hungary has for years adhered to a GMO-free policy that could be called the antechamber of organic production. We are firmly convinced that the future lies in environmentally responsible farming taking into account our natural assets”, Sándor Farkas underlined.

Mr. Farkas said it is the responsibility of decision-makers to transfer knowledge and experience on GMO-free production to farmers, and to inform consumers that agriculture is capable of producing products with safe nutrient content under the cleanest conditions.

On the sidelines of the Conference, Sándor Farkas me hist Austrian counterpart Elizabeth Köstinger and Romanian Secretary of State for Agriculture and Rural Development Alexandru Potor. At their trilateral meeting, the parties presented their national stances on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and agreed on the more efficient representation of the countries of the region in connection with organic agricultural production.

(Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)