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Government to pay sugar beet farmers HUF 2 bln subsidy to keep domestic supply T

The government will provide Hungary's sugar beet farmers with HUF 1.98 billion in subsidies from the central budget to ensure a domestic supply of sugar, the Rural Development Ministry told MTI on Friday.

Sugar beet farmers are to be paid a subsidy of HUF 2,617 per ton.

Hungary needs the 105,000-tonne annual output of the Kaposvár sugar refinery, the ministry said.

The refinery, owned by Magyar Cukor, a unit of Austria's Agrana, is the last one operating in Hungary. All of the other refineries were shut down after the 2007 season, when the EU slashed sugar price subsidies and offered farmers and refineries incentives to get out of the business.

Output of the refinery is less than one-third of Hungary's annual demand for 330,300 tons of sugar.