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Paying into farm disaster relief fund extended

The government has decided to push back the deadline for farmers to pay into a disaster relief fund from June 30 until September 30, 2010, government spokesperson Anna Nagy said on Monday.

Farmers must contribute to the fund in order to get payouts for disaster relief.

Rural Development Minister Sándor Fazekas said ministers of the Visegrád countries - Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia - had agreed to take steps together to request disaster relief from a EUR 1bn European Union solidarity fund.

Hungarian farmers have been hard hit by recent flooding. About 164,000 hectares of farmland are under standing water and 22,000 hectares are flooded. About 5.3% of the area sown with wheat is under water as is 2% of maize fields and 4.1% of sunflower fields.

About 10% of the country's annual wood production, or half a million cubic meters, has been lost because of the flooding. (MTI-ECONEWS)