Gov’t backs ‘strategically important’ mushroom production

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Hungarian-owned Fungaria Bio Zrt. will invest HUF 10.5 billion in establishing a mushroom growing, processing and research complex in Nagykálló, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County (NE Hungary), the company announced on Tuesday. The project is supported by the government as of "strategic importance to the national economy."

Fungaria Bio aims to establish a complex on 18 hectares near Nagykálló, where it will apply environment-friendly technology to growing and processing, packaging and sales of oyster and other "exotic" mushroom types, said project manager László Varga, cited in a report on online business news site vg.hu. The firm also plans to build and operate its own composting plant, providing the necessary growth medium for the mushrooms, added Varga.

Production at the facility will ramp up over 3-5 years, reaching 4,000-6,000 tonnes of mushrooms annually. Main export markets will include Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland and Russia. 

Construction work on the plant is set to begin this summer, and the facility will employ 280 workers. The project is receiving HUF 2.6 bln in state funding, said Levente Magyar, state secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who was present at the announcement.

The latest project follows another, smaller state-supported mushroom production project announced in February in Tiszapüspöki, Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County (east-central Hungary). That project, valued at some HUF 1.8 bln, received government support of HUF 500 million, and will employ 50 people.

The Szolnok investment is set to be launched in the summer and completed by the end of the year. On reaching full capacity, it is expected to turn out 2,500 tonnes of mushrooms annually on an industrial zone site of 5,600 square meters.

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