One of the goals for the European Union's 2014-2020 financial period is to increase mushroom production capacity from 25 thousand tons to 50 thousand tons and to achieve 20 billion forints in extra revenues within the mushroom sector, the Ministry of Rural Development's Minister of State for Agricultural Economy said on Wednesday in Ócsa, near Budapest.
György Czerván was speaking at the opening ceremony of Bio-Fungi Ltd.'s new mushroom plant and logistics centre in the Pest County city, timed to coincide with a two-day international conference entitled "The Sustainability of Mushroom Growing in Central-Eastern Europe", which was organised by the company.
Among objectives for the mushroom sector, Mr. Czerván mentioned the establishment of 60 mushroom farms, the construction of 100 mushroom compost production and heat treatment units, and the establishment of a processing capacity capable of producing 15 thousand tons of canned mushrooms.
According to the Minister of State, one of the current goals is to double compost capacity to 300 thousand tons. 50 percent of the planned revenue increase within the sector would come from exports, and if objectives are met this would lead to the creation of 5 thousand new jobs. Mr. Czerván added that the development of mushroom growing professional training is also planned; vocational and secondary training will be launched to supplement the higher education currently provided at three colleges, in addition to which the repositioning of Hungarian mushroom research, which ceased to operate in recent years, is also planned via the reorganisation of the agricultural research network. Some 250 participants from over ten countries attended the conference organised by Bio-Fungi Limited, such as clients from Croatia, Romania and Bosnia, as well as representatives from several countries including Holland, Poland and Germany.
With reference to the expansion of the company, György Czerván stressed that the new production plant cost 900 million forints, including 300 million forints in state funding, and the total value of the project including the composting plant is 2.2 billion forints. Árpád Mutsy, the company's Managing Director, emphasised that within the Agaricus ("button mushroom") sector, the company represents the best possible, state-of-the-art technology in Hungary, and Bio-Fungi views it as its task to convince Hungarian growers of the necessity of mechanisation and continuous development.
Mr. Mutsy also drew attention to the fact that Agaricus does not occupy the position it deserves in Hungarian gastronomy. The Hungarian-owned company, which has been operating for some 23 years, achieved revenues of 4.8 billion forints last year and this figure is expected to increase to 6 billion forints this year.
(MTI - kormany.hu)