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Less grants for organic agriculture in the Czech Republic

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

The segments should have been implemented for the participation of organic farmers in quality management programs, in order to inform the public about their organic production and to promote organic agriculture. With the decision to eliminate them, a negative influence on the prospective development of the organic sector in the Czech Republic might have been initiated. "Pro-Bio", the Czech organic farmers' association, sees the main reasons for the stagnating growth of the organically managed area in the insufficient marketing of organic products, the modest opportunities for advertising and promotion, as well as in the not sufficiently informed consumers. Although the programme for rural development was planned to be the main tool for the expansion of organic agriculture, the ministry seems not to be very interested to take that chance, the association Pro-Bio stated in a recent press release.

 

Only in 2004, the government passed a document in which the increase of organically managed area was regarded as the main objective. According to this document, a total of 10 % of the whole agricultural area should have become organic by 2010. Pro-Bio further states that with the new programme this objective has been postponed by three years to the year 2013. By doing so, the Czech Ministry of Agriculture acts differently than other European countries which suoport marketing initiatives for organic products and give bonuses for organic area.

Other European countries have realised that direct compensation payments per hectare may motivate farmers to convert their farms to organic principles. But the focus should also be on the positioning of organic products in the food market and on an increased demand by consumers in order to achieve a stable and sustainable growth in organic farming. The two eliminated programme segments could have helped to bring the current stagnation of the growth of the organically managed area to an end and to strenghthen the competitive position of smaller farms, Pro-Bio states. Additionally, they could increase the quality of their products. All in all, this would lead to a more sustainable production in rural areas. Source: Pro-Bio, Czech Ministry of Agriculture

www.ekoconnect.org


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