Bratislava, January 29 (TASR) – The highest amount of money ever will flow to Slovak agriculture within the EU’s 2014-20 programme period, the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry announced on Friday.
Compared to the previous period of 2007-13, this is a €377-million increase, noted the ministry.
One significant change in funding Slovak agriculture consists in the introduction of the so-called sandwich mechanism. “The main sense of the mechanism is a stable setting of support for animal and plant production, as guaranteed up to 2020. The support increases in an aggregate manner, and compared to the previous programme period it’s up by 35 percent on average,” stated the ministry.
According to the Agriculture Ministry, the sandwich mechanism is the main structural element in restoring domestic agricultural potential, which includes acceleration and multiplication effects. It creates conditions for accelerating the qualitative and quantitative parameters of agricultural production, and multiplies these effects over the entire product spectrum.
The mechanism has contributed towards stabilising employment in agriculture, with the number of staff in the sector recently going up for the first time since 2002. At the same time pig breeding has been stabilised, the decline in cattle production has been decelerated, and numbers of sheep and goats have begun rising. In addition, the cultivated area of sugar beet has been growing in a sustainable manner, while the decline in potato production has been halted. It has decelerated in fruit, vegetable and wine production.