An EU funding programme named Milky Way will make it easier for Czech dairy farms to export milk and milk products to Arab countries. According to a report by public broadcaster Czech Radio, dairy farms stand to receive funding of 140 million crowns.
Milky Way is a three-year programme which should help Czech dairy farms export milk products to Arab countries, namely Lebanon, the United Araba Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Half of the funds to help boost Czech products will come from the European Union and the rest from the Czech state as well as dairy farms themselves. Martin Pýcha of the Czech Agriculture Association told Czech Radio the project could help Czech products succeed on markets in the Middle East.
“The Czech Republic has long had strong economic ties with Arab countries as well as exporting foodstuffs there. Those countries don’t have great agricultural potential and they rely largely on imports.”
Firms which have signed on include Mlékárna Hlinsko, of the Agrofert concern owned by Finance Minister Andrej Babiš (which has long exported condensed milk abroad) or Polabské mlékarny, the public broadcaster reported. Firms taking part in the programme are required to cover all production costs before receiving any subsidies. Increased export to the Middle East could help counter the negative impact of embargoes on EU dairy product exports to Russia, the station added. At present, Czech milk exports are largest to neighbouring Germany.