Czech farmers will receive 32 billion crowns in subsidies in the 2019-2020
period with the bulk of the money coming from EU funds, according to the
spokeswoman of the Czech Agricultural Intervention Fund Vladimíra
They are being drawn by 31,000 farmers and agricultural companies, including those in the Agrofert conglomerate, which is at the centre of a dispute relating to the prime minister’s suspected conflict of interests.
According to Nováková these are direct and compensation subsidies which cannot be questioned in relation to the prime minister’s possible conflict of interests. She added that the EC had not questioned their distribution.
The damage by late spring frost to the Czech fruit harvest is expected to
exceed 100 million crowns, according to the head of the Association of
Czech Fruit Growers, Martin Ludvik.
The worst-hit areas are in northern and western Bohemia where farmers have lost much of their harvest. In Moravia farmers report damages due to severe hailstorms.
The annual value of the country’s fruit harvest is at around 1.3 billion crowns. In recent years farmers have repeatedly suffered losses due to spring frost or summer droughts.
The Dutch company Fynerdale Holdings is suing the Czech Republic over lost
investments in trade in poppy seeds.
The Dutch investor provided loans to the Czech company YTRIX a.s. and the Maltese company Poppyseed Limited, to be used for trade in poppy seeds produced in the Czech Republic.
The business turned out to be a scam and the Dutch firm claims the Czech government failed to act on the claimant’s criminal complaint regarding its business partners’ fraudulent activities, which allegedly entailed the loss of the company’s assets.
Fynerdale Holdings is demanding over 108 million US dollars in compensation.
One of the worst droughts in recent Czech history is still tormenting farmers, with rainfalls in October measured at just a fifth of the monthly average. The total cost of damages to Czech agriculture and forestry has been estimated to lie at around CZK 24 billion so far and some farmers say the government is not doing enough about it.
Estimated losses from the summer drought this year have topped CZK 24 billion, the website idnes.cz has reported. According to experts, 2018 will be the driest year on record, outdoing 2015, which has been the driest so far. Rainfall levels in October have so far been five times lower than the average. Prices of potatoes, beer and carp are expected to rise due to the drought.
According the Czech Statistical Office’s estimate, this year’s grain harvest is 7.9 percent lower than that of the previous year. While the yield of several major crops including potatoes, peas and sugar beet has gone down, harvested rapeseed has increased by over 20 percent in comparison to last year.