Save Kinshantos, Hungary’s outstanding organic farm and education centre!

Kishantos has been serving sustainability and democracy in Hungary for 21 years. Kishantos is a victim of land grabbing, but we can still save Kishantos with your help.

Kishantos Rural Development Centre is an NGO-based civil institution and grassroots initiative by local people. The centre has two main parts: a Folk High School Centre and a 452-hectare organic demonstration farm. Its main mission is to spread up-to-date knowledge, and the ideas of sustainability and democracy. The organic demonstration farm surrounds the education centre.

The Hungarian Government gave the Kishantos Rural Development Centre non-profit organisation the right to lease 452 hectares of land for in 1998. The Folk High School Centre 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. The school and the whole Centre are financed by the income from the farm.

The lease for the state owned land is valid until 31 October 2013. But last October, the Hungarian Land Fund (representing the State as the owner) called issued an open call tender for the rent of the lands in ten lots. According to the decision of the Hungarian Land Fund, the Kishantos non-profit Organisation will lose all the land as of 1 November 2013.
The persons and companies who “won” the tender for leasing the land have no experience 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 very likely lose its qualification as a BIO SUISSE organic farming area and the Folk High School Centre will also disappear as it was financed by the farm income.

Kishantos will be the victim of a government-assisted land grab.

Kishantos is very unique: it a reference project in Europe where sustainable agriculture, ecological farming, education and democracy have been functioning together in perfect harmony, and is proof that these basic values can really work together to serve society.

Please tell your colleagues and friends about this and send a letter to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (orbanviktor [at] orbanviktor.hu) and Minister for Rural Development Sándor Fazekas (miniszter [at] vm.gov.hu) with a copy to savekishantos [at] gmail.com.

Suggested letter:
“Dear Prime Minister Viktor Orbán,
Dear Minister Sándor Fazekas

I am (We are) deeply concerned about the fate of the Kishantos organic farm and Folk High School Centre. Kishantos Rural Development Centre has been a symbol of environmental, economic and social sustainability and democracy. However, as a result of the decision of the Hungarian Land Fund (NFA), the Kishantos Rural Development Centre would lose all the land of its organic demonstration farm (452 hectares) as of 1 November 2013. This would mean an end to the internationally well-known and highly respected farm and education centre.
The establishment and the operation of Kishantos Rural Development Centre has been helped by German taxpayers’ money as well as German and Danish experts, institutions and communities in many ways .The decision to terminate the Centre will be another serious support to those voices which declare that providing Western European funding to Hungary is a waste of money, because this money is misused and the investments made possible by such money are insecure. I (we) believe that it would be a big mistake to give support to such voices.

For these reasons we ask you to annul the above mentioned decision of NFA and guarantee that Kishantos Rural Development Centre will continue its outstanding work during the coming years.

Sincerely yours,”

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