On Thursday, the professors expressed concern in a statement in connection with the lease programme of state-owned lands designed for farmers and declared support for family-owned businesses.
Signatories to the statement said that the National Land Manager had awarded the larger part of the available state-owned land to owners of large estates.
In his response, the prime minister said that the government had reviewed the land manager’s bidding process, and established that the winners were local farmers with small or medium-sized estates.
In defence of the manager’s bid criteria including one that applicants seeking a land lease should be active in animal farming, which the professors criticised saying that it would put large estates in a better position, Orban said that subsidised loans for animal farming were available also for smallholders.
In his letter, the prime minister invited the Batthyany Circle to participate in the social consultations on the new land bill, which is expected to set solid foundations for land ownership policies of the 21st century.