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Kishantos, Hungary's outstanding organic farm and education centre is in danger!

This blog is about a sustainable project that was initiated by the Hungarian and German Governments. It's called 'Kishantos organic farm and High School'. The exemplary project became very successful because its non-chemical and non-GMO oriented organic and bio-dynamic methods of land cultivation, and now, is in danger because some greedy people want to monopolize the lands for their own profits and interests.


The following text is from their official website. Let their voices to be heard by the World:

Kishantos is very unique, it is the only project in Europe where sustainable agriculture, ecological farming, education and democracy have been functioning together in perfect harmony. It is a proof that these basic values can really work together serving society. Kishantos is a European symbol of sustainability. Very few similar projects exist in practice.

Kishantos is working for the common good, for sustainability, for democracy – for a safe future of our children and grandchildren. We should not let it disappear!

Kishantos has been serving sustainability and democracy in Hungary for 21 years. It is a Folk High School Center with a 452-hectare organic demonstration farm. Kishantos is threatened to become victim of land grab. We can save Kishantos with your help.

Kishantos Rural Development Center in Hungary is an NGO based civil institution on the basis of a grassroot initiative by local people. The center has two main parts: the Folk High School Center and the organic demonstration farm on 452 hectares. Its main mission is to help the people with up-to-date knowledge, and to spread the idea of sustainability and democracy. The organic demonstration farm surrounds the education center.

In 1994-95 in the framework of a German-Hungarian governmental cooperation, Hungarians worked with a team of 3 German experts who were the advisors in the beginning, and helped to design the Kishantos organic demonstration farm together with the experts of the Institute of Environment and Landscape Development of the Agricultural University in Gödöllõ led by the Professor József Ángyán.

On the basis of the German plans the Hungarian Government gave the right to lease 452 hectares of land for the Kishantos Rural Development Center Nonprofit Company in 1998. This Nonprofit Company was established for the particular objective to run the organic demonstration farm. During the past 21 years these 452 hectares have been cultivated organically.

The Folk High School Center works on the basis of the ideas of N.F.S. Grundtvig, the great Danish thinker. His idea was “the school for life” where the living dialogue and the experience are the main instruments of education.

During the past twenty years, Kishantos – with the local society of the village Hantos in the background – has established wide cooperation with Danish and other European partners. There is also cooperation with Danish Velling’s Folk High School. They organized international exchange programs. Since 1994, more than 200 Hungarian young people took part in 3 and 5-month courses in the Vestjyllands Hojskole. The main goal of that program is to offer experiences for young Hungarian people about democracy and sustainability in practice. The Kishantos Folk High School and the whole Center is financed from the farm income.

The leasing contract of the 452 hectares of state owned land is valid until 31. October 2013. But last October, the Hungarian Land Fund (representing the State as the owner) called for application for the rent of the lands of the organic demonstration farm for an open application in ten lots. According to the decision of the Hungarian Land Fund, the Kishantos Nonprofit Company is going to lose all the land of the organic demonstration farm (452 hectares) as of 1st November 2013.

The persons and companies which “won” the tender for leasing the land, presently leased by the Kishantos Rural Development Centre, have no experience at all in organic farming. Some of them do not have experience in farming at all! If any of them will start to cultivate the land, Kishantos will certainly lose its qualification as a BIO SUISSE organic farming area. The Folk High School Centre will also disappear as it has been financed by the income of the organic farm.

Kishantos will become victim of government assisted land grab and lose the land that was the base of their work, unless we save it.

Signed by 95 Hungarian NGO organization and more than 1700 private ....

- 1 -

Complaint for evaluation of tenders on agricultural rural leases from Ács Sándorné (Managing Director of Kishantos Rural Development Center) to dr. Sándor Fazekas (Minister of Rural Development).

click to read the letter in PDF

- 2 -

Letter to Mr. Marco Schlüter (Director, IFOAM EU Group) from Dr Tamás Iván Kovács (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Embassy of Hungary, Brussels).

click to read the letter in PDF as well

Answer of Dr Tamás Iván Kovács (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Embassy of Hungary, Brussels) to Mr. Marco Schlüter's (Director, IFOAM EU Group) letter.

click to read the letter in PDF as well

- 3 -

Letter of Adrian Bebb (Food, Agriculture and Biodiversity Programme).

click to read the letter in PDF as well

"...Opposition politicians and activists have protested against the breakup of the organic farm in Kishantos ever since the leaseholders of the Kishantos Centre refused to hand over the area to the state land manager by the deadline at the end of October 2013 and filed a complaint with the rural development minister over the termination of their lease.

The Kishantos Rural Development Centre was set up under an agreement between the Hungarian and German governments 15 years ago. It operates on 452 hectares of state-owned land and produces the highest-grade organic seeds, as well as offering courses to farmers and carrying out agricultural research..." - read the source.

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Comment by Dr. Wequar Ali Khan on April 20, 2014 at 1:01pm

Some what similar project in Pakistan "". Whose lady worker was assassinated by vested interest. 

Comment by Dr. Wequar Ali Khan on April 20, 2014 at 12:46pm

What a sad state of affairs.I wish saner thinking would prevail. A some what similar situation took place in Pakistan in Karachi. "Orangi Pilot Project" was started by Late Dr  Hamid to convert a shanty town into a model system with the help of the community.It was started with help of UNDP but then after death of Dr Hamid it was taken over by a student of Dr Hamid, a lady with brilliant social and educational background who was assassinated by political mafia for land grabbing.Today the project that was recognized by United Nations as a model is slowly dying away.It covered,education, sanitation,social work,training for women in handy craft etc. Vested interest every where has the same psyche.      

Comment by Debby Bruck on April 19, 2014 at 12:51am

I will pray that you are successful to save the organic farm for the next generations. 

Comment by Kavitha Kukunoor on April 16, 2014 at 11:28pm

Hope all the efforts are successful in making Kishantos, Hungary's outstanding organic farm and education centre out of danger!

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