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Ukrainian Refugees Won’t Solve Labour Shortages

As labour shortages loom, the agricultural sector is preparing for yet another tough season, especially in countries like Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Some farmers and officials hope to alleviate this crisis with labour-capable Ukrainian refugees. But are these expectations realistic? As perceptions of Ukrainian labourers change, instead of stopgap solutions, more systemic change is needed, argues P√©ter J√≥zsef Bori. […]

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Hungary | Electoral Win for Orbán Рcan he keep up pro-farmer façade?

This weekend Hungarians voted Viktor Orb√°n‚Äôs FIDESZ party into a fourth consecutive term in government. What is the secret to Orb√°n‚Äôs continued popularity with rural voters, when he has been breaking promises to them for more than a decade? How will this new parliamentary majority for FIDESZ affect agriculture, farmers and rural areas in the midst of global political and economic turmoil? Analysis by P√©ter J√≥zsef Bori. […]

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Ukraine | Connecting Rural Borderlands in the Carpathians

The Carpathian Civil Society Platform is gathering energy for change in the borderlands that connect Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. These remote mountainous areas have similar characteristics and face similar challenges, such as increasing poverty and social exclusion. With war moving closer to Western Ukraine, the platform‚Äôs work to connect civil society actors in the Carpathian mountains has taken on a renewed significance. Report by S√°ndor K√∂les, Chair of Carpathian Foundation-Hungary. […]

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Hungary | The Last Smallholders Part III

Rural Hungary has been Viktor Orb√°n‚Äôs ticket to three terms in power. With the April 2022 elections approaching, is there a chance for emancipation from authoritarian populist rule to arise from this very same countryside? Drawing on original research, P√©ter J√≥zsef Bori and No√©mi Gonda argue that by reforming our ways of producing food, we can also initiate a radical reform of the undemocratic systems that govern us. Final installment of an exclusive three-part series. […]

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Hungary | The Last Smallholders Part II

Our second installment here explains how Orb√°n and his FIDESZ party backtracked on their promises after their election in 2010. What followed is a decade of land grabbing, destructive agricultural transformation and the alienation of Hungary‚Äôs last smallholders ‚Äď all while maintaining the image of a pro-peasant government. Original research by P√©ter J√≥zsef Bori and No√©mi Gonda. […]

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Hungary | The Last Smallholders Part I

In Viktor Orb√°n‚Äôs Hungary, the rural vote will have a crucial role to play in the upcoming April elections. Orb√°n has been milking farmers‚Äô grievances for over a decade. Have the nation‚Äôs smallholders had enough? Revealing the findings of new research,¬†P√©ter J√≥zsef Bori and No√©mi Gonda track the progress of feudal dynamics in the Hungarian countryside. First in a three-part series. […]

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Letter From The Farm | Investing In The Future

We‚Äôre back on Zs√°mboki Biokert organic market garden in Hungary, where Matthew and Kata Hayes and the team are taking time to plan for the year ahead. January was a time to reflect on the year gone by, and the conscious effort that the farm is making to invest in the next generation, and to encourage young people to think about our food systems. In these uncertain times for micro-scale farmers, and for farming in general, Covid has driven home the need to build and maintain community and common values, writes Matthew.¬† […]

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Agroecology Grows in Hungary

Agroecology is gaining more and more support from different actors around the world and is inspiring new collaborations such as the recently formed Hungarian Agroecology Network. The network was created 5 months ago and has already more than 60 active members from all over Hungary; among them farmers, representatives of producer and consumer groups, of NGOs and short supply chains, academics and researchers. Lili Balough has more. […]

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Letter From The Farm | Between Hotbeds And The Hungary Gap

Meet Matthew Hayes, an organic-biodynamic-biointensive farmer originally from the UK, who has lived and farmed in Hungary for the last 25 years. He runs a market garden with his wife Kata in Zs√°mbok, a village in Pest county to the east of Budapest. In his first Letter From The Farm, Matthew writes about the struggle between light and darkness, the hung(a)ry gap, and lessons in patience. […]

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Food Framing: Think Like An Eastern European

Must we choose between formal market and non-market economies? This is the longstanding Western narrative. But Eastern European food practices tell a different story. Co-author of a new paper that points to tried-and-tested alternatives to the West’s broken food systems, B√°lint Bal√°zs makes the case for looking East. […]

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Huge State Land Sell off in Hungary – who benefits?

A huge sell of of state land is about to happen in Hungary. Beginning 16th November, the Hungarian State will start selling a whopping 380,000 hectares of its land – by the end of the year. In just 44 days, this huge amount of land will be sold off into private ownership. But who is going to get this land? […]