Pickers costs threaten raspberry crop
The high cost of paying pickers could price Hungarian farmers out of the raspberry market, daily Magyar Idok said on Friday.
Paying pickers accounts for about 200 forints (EUR 0.6) of the 600 forints farm gate price for a kilogramme of raspberries in Hungary. Pickers in Serbia, Romania and Ukraine work for just a fraction of that, the paper said.
Gyorgy Csizmadia, the deputy head of Hungary's Fruit and Vegetable Product Council, told the paper that farmers are growing fewer and fewer raspberries and the crop could disappear entirely in the coming years.
Data from the Agriculture Research Institute (AKI) show Hungary's raspberry crop has fallen from an annual 27,000 tonnes in the early '90s to 1,500-2,000 tonnes at present.