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Country report - Hungary

by Zoltan Dezseny and Dora Drexler, Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (OMKi)

This article was originally written for the publication "Organic in Europe", published by the IFOAM EU Group in collaboration with the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Switzerland, and the Mediterranean Institute for Agronomic Research CIHEAM-IAM, Bari, Italy.

Key indicators 2012

  • Organic agricultural area: 130,609 hectares In addition to the agricultural land, there are about 6,000 hectares of aquaculture areas.
  • Operators:
    • Organic producers: 1,560
    • Organic processors: 414
    • Organic importers: 14
    • Organic exporters: no data
  • Retail sales: EUR 25 million (2009)

Area and operator data: Eurostat; market data: Biokorsar

History of organic farming

  • 1983: Biokultura Klub is established
  • 1990s: Hungary is included in the third country list under EU Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91
  • 1992: Kishantos Rural Development Centre established
  • 1996: The inspection body Biokontroll Hungaria is founded
  • 2002: The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development approves the inspection and certifying body Hungaria Oko Garancia
  • 2011: The Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (OMKi) is founded

Key sector institutions

Production base: land use and key crops

In 2011, of the total organic area of 130,609 hectares

  • 52.3 % consists of permanent grassland and grazing land,
  • 39.2 % arable land,
  • 4 % permanent cropland and other agricultural land.

The key arable crops are

  • cereals (23,112 hectares),
  • green fodder from arable land including temporary grasses and grazing areas (15,652 hectares),
  • oilseeds (7,438 hectares), and
  • vegetables (1,770 hectares).

The key permanent crops are

  • orchards (apples, cherries, plums, 1,793 hectares),
  • nuts (1,440 hectares),
  • grapes (1,207 hectares), and
  • berries (796 hectares).

Market

Organic products in Hungary have only a small market share (less than 1%).

  • Exports and imports: About 85 % of the organic production is exported. Most of the products leave the country as raw materials or as products with low added-value. Most of the (modest) organic assortments in Hungarian food stores are imported processed products. Some estimates suggest that 90 % of domestic organic consumption is made up of imports.

Standards, legislation, organic logo

EU legislation on organic farming and other regulations are implemented, and the decree on organic certification, production and distribution and labelling applies (A videkfejlesztesi miniszter 34/2013. (V.14.) VM rendelete a mezőgazdasagi termekek es elelmiszerek okologiai gazdalkodasi kovetelmenyek szerinti tanusitasarol, előallitasarol, forgalmazasarol, jeloleseről es ellenőrzesenek eljarasredjeről).

There is no national logo for organic products. The inspection bodies have their own logos.

Policy support

  • National action plan: A new national action is pending and is expected to be finalised in early 2014.

Research & advice

The main institutions conducting research on organic agriculture are the Hungarian Research Institute of organic Agriculture (OMKi) and the Agricultural Universities in Hungary.

The advisory services are coordinated by the National Institute for Agricultural Advisory, Education and Rural Development (NAKVI), which provides training courses and technical information for advisors.

Challenges & outlook

Hungarian organic production needs more strongly practice-oriented research. Furthermore, more dissemination work is needed, underpinned by local scientific evidence, and efforts are required to increase consumer awareness in order to establish a stable and growing organic sector. Cooperation and better communication between organic stakeholders (producers, traders, umbrella organisations, certifiers and research institutions) is crucial.

Further information


For other relevant websites, see the section on key sector institutions.

Contacts

Dezsény Zoltán
ÖMKi – Researh Institue of Organic Agriculture
CSA cooperations    
1033 Budapest, Miklós tér 1.
Hungary
Tel.: +36 20 394 7971    
Tel.: +36 1 244 8358,
Fax: +36 1 244 8357
zoltan.dezseny@no-spam.biokutatas.hu
info@no-spam.biokutatas.hu
www.biokutatas.hu


Dr. Drexler Dóra
ÖMKi – Researh Institue of Organic Agriculture
Managing director
1033 Budapest, Miklós tér 1.
Hungary
Tel.: +36 20 346 9120
Tel.: +36 1 244 8358
Fax: +36 1 244 8357
dora.drexler@no-spam.biokutatas.hu
info@no-spam.biokutatas.hu
www.biokutatas.hu