Nitra, August 17 (TASR) – The 44th Agrokomplex annual agriculture fair was opened in Nitra on Thursday to run until Sunday, featuring 605 exhibitors from 12 countries in an area of 56,000 square metres.
Despite unfavourable climate conditions this year, the corps of densely sown corn wasn’t disastrous in Slovakia, Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) said at the ceremonial opening of the fair.
“Compared to last year, we’ve registered this year a slump of 20 percent. Nonetheless, it needs to be realised that last year was record-breaking. We still produce more than we consume in our territory,” said Fico.
According to him, Slovak farmers are facing three challenges. The first of them is irrigation systems. “We had almost 320,000 hectares of land covered by irrigation systems before 1989. It’s only 100,000 hectares now, less than one third. We must introduce some measures, or else farming won’t survive the current climate changes,” said Fico.
Another problem is represented by high volumes of imported food products, while basic commodities are being exported from Slovakia, said the prime minister.
Meanwhile, the third challenge is represented by double-quality food being offered in old and new EU-member countries, said Fico, adding that such a situation mustn’t be accepted.