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Farming minister calls for fewer crops, more livestock

Hungarian farmers should raise more livestock and grow fewer crops, Agriculture Minister József Gráf said on Monday. Crops, which account for a little more than half of agricultural output, should ideally make up just a third of it, Gráf said. The ministry aims to introduce new incentives to encourage farmers to raise more livestock, such as offering livestock farmers land, giving them preferential loans to buy animals and subsidizing the purchase of breeding stock. At the same time, Hungary's farmers must also modernize crop production, Gráf said. He promised funding for production of crops that can be burned to generate energy, such as long grasses and woodfuel. The ministry would like to see these so-called energy crops planted on 200,000 hectares of low-quality farmland, Gráf said. Farmers could apply for a Ft 7,000 per hectare subsidy for growing long grasses and a Ft 50,000 per hectare subsidy for growing woodfuel.