Hungarian poultry farms fear no subsidies
According to the country’s Poultry Council, the Hungarian poultry industry is demanding Ft 5.5 billion (US$30 million) in additional state support for the second half of 2007 to stabilise production.
Despite increasing prices, the poultry sector has been experiencing difficulties and, as a result, the industry has failed to raise production.
The threat of bird flu is still not over. Feed prices, fuelled by a poor grain harvest, have also been soaring considerably, thereby increasing input costs. Added to this, poultry imports have been rising while export revenues are being cut by a strong forint.
Hungarian farmers are facing uncertainty regarding the level of support. National subsidies were only available up to April 30. The ministry has made only vague promises on the date and size of support available in the second half of this year. This uncertainty over subsidies is cited as the main reason for the stagnation of production.
In the first half of 2007, producers were paid Ft 9.50 (5 cents) per kg in animal welfare subsidies and Ft 15 (84 cents) per layer hen in veterinary support. This was complemented by support of Ft 120 (67 cents) per layer and Ft 60 (33 cents) per hen for parent flocks for the prevention of salmonella.
The poultry council now demands guarantees from the ministry that these schemes will be available in the second half of this year, implying extra support of Ft 5.5 billion (US$30 million) to the industry.