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Czech Republic: over 1 million Euro to promote organic products
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The Czech Ministry of Agriculture is preparing a campaign for the promotion of organic food which aims to boost sales. The state will invest 30 million crowns (about 1.11 million Euro) in the initiative, as reported by the head of the Ministry's Environmental and Organic Agriculture Department, Jan Gallas.
Three-year project on the transition
According to Kateřiny Urbánková, manager of PRO-BIO, the Association of Organic Farmers, the acreage devoted to organic production in the Czech Republic currently accounts for about 12 percent of the total agricultural land. The Ministry is also preparing a three-year project on the transition of conventional farming to organic farming in which it may invest 12 million crowns (about 444,087 Euro). Last year, the government approved the plan for the development of organic farming up to 2020. The goal is for the share of organic food in the total consumption of food and beverages to amount to three percent by 2020. According to ecologists, this development plan is not ambitious enough, especially in increasing the share of land devoted to organic production.
According to the online service ekolist.cz, approximately one third of all domestic organic products are sold to consumers. "Up to two thirds end up as conventionally processed or exported to foreign countries," said Gallas. According to him, the Czech Republic grows plenty of organic produce, but lacks processors. Another issue has to do with prices, which tend to be considerably higher, and there is also a problem with vegetables and fruits produced organically that end up sold without a bio label.