Pepper producer and lobbyist in Szentes

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Dániel Bakó is a young but not a 'rookie' farmer from Szentes. He has been cultivating pepper for almost a decade on 0.9 hectares. He has received the opportunity and the commitment from his father, and performs his everyday tasks with enviable enthusiasm. I was able to witness this with my own eyes while I spent a week at his farm during AGRYA's programme for urban youth.

He is not only a good professional who is trying to produce healthy Hungarian vegetables with modern technologycompared to a small family business, but committed to lobby for thermal energy and – last, but not least – is the proud dad of a half-year-old girl.

Dániel has been the member of AGRYA since 2008, and although he did not directly take part of organizing the Rural Adventure Programme, he supported it from the beginning according to his capabilities. "When I was asked to be a farmer who is giving accommodation and work, I did not hesitate for a minute, I took the offer immediately.  AGRYA has always been open, cooperative and helpful towards me, so there was no question that as much as possible, I will contribute to the success of the programme. Similarly, I  feel sympathy for the "Grow Your Own!" Program, which is a playful, interactive chance for the younger generation to getto know agriculture" – professed the young farmer his motivation.

According to his opinion, the programme provides a base of information, which could make the state of rural farming more promoted. "It is a good for those urban young people who are a bit interested in what is happening in the countryside, what kind of work we are doing, to receive this information, and they – I think – will relay it as a 'spokeperson' in the big city, so I think that this program is very beneficial for both parties. Moreover, the active media presence - which attracted not only the public but also the commercial media's attention - means a great opportunity, since this way, agriculture-related events can reach a wider range of society"- said the gardener.

Dániel would support the Hungarian adoption of the well-working practice established in Western Europe that government officials have to work a few days – as a compulsory study visit – in the agricultural sector, in order to gain real experience about the circumstances which they will control and regulate in the future.

The young farmer had no prejudices against his "guest workers", on the contrary, the acquaintance meant a great joy for him: they were very curious, interested in the tasks and were also able to quickly identify with them. He tried to give them a chance not only to acquire basic knowledge but to get to know each part of the process, from pepper raising to pumping out and utilizing thermal water, which heats the foil tent, then from sales to producing other fruits and vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, melons) cultivated in Szentes. "I tried to organize such programs that offer a wider view into the process of growing,  processing and selling."

The presence of his guests meant absolutely no difficulty for him, he could easily fit the management of their work and their training into his daily schedule. ",, The adventurers have been unable to make my general time pressure – which characterizes every one of my days – worse.

Among his future plans, learning and the expansion of his knowledge are included. "I got my degree in environmental management of agricultural engineering at Szarvas. I would like to expand this knowledge further, so agricultural marketing and agro-economic studies are among my plans. For my job, taking into account that a high degree of mechanization is needed to do it, engineering and HR knowledge are important, since in case of a failure, it is often me who have to correct it myself, and – as a manager – I have to learn how to properly treat my employees  - so continuous learning is essential."
As Dániel grabs every opportunity to teach, and to comment on the current problems of the sector, he is pleased to participate in the program next year.


Zsófia Papp