Greater support for Czech pig farmers

Czech Agriculture Minister Ivan Fuksa wants to increase support to domestic pig breeders using money from the package of Kc800m the ministry has earmarked for support of sensitive commodities, he said in the television discussion programme Questions of Vaclav Moravec Sunday.

The ministry is still analysing the best way of distributing the money but it will tend to support animal production more than vegetable production. The support to pig breeders will amount to hundreds of millions of crowns, Fuksa said.

"I take the critical situation in animal production very seriously. I hope I will announce good news for pig breeders and for animal production in general in April or May," Fuksa said.

Shadow agriculture minister Michal Hasek called on Fuksa to find even more money for support to farmers this year. According to Hasek, the ministry can use the sum of over Kc1bn that was frozen by the Finance Ministry at the Land Fund last year. Fuksa, however, rejected this proposal.

Agricultural Chamber head Jan Veleba said Kc0.5bn was necessary to halt the decline of pig producers.

Fuksa also said he sought that the government approve a decree within a month setting the duty of meat importers to inform supervisory bodies about the origin of food.

Veleba said he welcomed such a measure because it would give consumers the opportunity to choose between imported and domestic food.

Fuksa also said he estimated the current growth of food prices in Czech shops, which results from the increase in global prices of commodities, at 2 to 4 percent.

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