István Nagy, Hungary’s minister of agriculture, held talks with agrarian leaders of seven central European countries on challenges to the region on the Budapest fairground Hungexpo.
Addressing top officials of Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, Nagy called for closer cooperation in agricultural research and joint actions so that the member states could implement the EU’s common agricultural policy under national control, in line with their national characteristics. Brussels’ will often runs counter to local agrarian interests, he said, adding that the EU partners should understand that rural regions “are not the periphery but the very heart of the European way of life,” he said. The minister said that food waste and loss were declining in Hungary but still amounted to 88 million tonnes a year in the European Union. The best way to reduce it, he said, would lie in the digitalisation of the food chain.