Potential Impact of the European Green Deal on Crop Production in the EU and Hungary

Szabó, Levente – Nábrádi, András

Keywords: precision farming, green agreement production strategy, sustainable agriculture, production strategy, O13, Q15

The European arable farming, including Hungarian arable farming, faces a huge dilemma: how to contribute to and maintain global food supply while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, maintaining biodiversity, but reducing inputs that are potentially damaging to society and the environment, while ensuring that no more land is taken out of production? Not to mention the fact that the increasingly urgent need to tackle climate change is also placing additional demandon EU agricultural decision-makers. Under the European Green Deal (GD), the Farm to Fork (F2F) strategy promotes climate neutrality by 2050 and aims at a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Achieving this will require significant changes in the way food is produced, a shift in plant health strategies and accelerated innovation in the agricultural sector. The study addresses these issues. Our first hypothesis is that GD and F2F strategies can be implemented without problems and without losses. Our second hypothesis is that the know-how solutions and the technological conditions for precision agriculture are already available, and that all these together already confirm hypothesis H1 and confirm its feasibility. In order to verify the hypotheses, we reviewed the recent and up-to-date literature on DG and F2F. For H1, we found that there are pro- and con findings in the literature. However, the summary finding is not positive. The finding of the studies, based on data calculations, is that EU agriculture is facing huge additional expenditures if it is to maintain production and reduce environmental pressures. Their calculations suggest that more people will be disadvantaged by the decisions, and that millions of euros could be lost to the public. However, the article also shows that in many cases, positive results can be achieved even with reduced chemical use. The technological and know-how solutions available in international and Hungarian practice, and the factual data from plant-level trials of these solutions, demonstrate that the DG's objectives are already partially achievable. It has been established that the systemic use of precision technologies makes it possible to increase natural and at the same time economic efficiency. In our work we used the results of primary and recent secondary research. We show the downsides of GD, but also that with targeted support, the objectives of sustainability and GD can be approached. Changes in 2022, drastic price increases for inputs including fertilizers and pesticides, inflation at a 20-year high, energy prices spiraling out of control, and an almost unprecedented drought affecting crop production and horticulture, point to the need for a radical change in technology, thinking, and regulation. To ensure that there is enough affordable food domestically, that there is an export product within the community and beyond, and that those working in agriculture have a decent living. The challenges of the 21st century have never been greater. To ensure that there is enough affordable food domestically, that there is enough food for export within the community and beyond, and that those working in agriculture have a decent living.

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