Semancik: Milk and Pork Production Sectors in Crisis

(stock photo by TASR/AP)

Bratislava/Modra September 30 (TASR) – The sectors of milk and pork production are in a crisis, therefore, it’s necessary to look for solutions to save these sectors, as their economic development is very negative, stated Slovak Agriculture and Food Chamber (SPPK) chairman Milan Semancik on Friday.

Semancik was speaking at a press conference in Modra (Bratislava region) after a meeting of representatives of Visegrad Four/V4 (Czech
Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia) agriculture chambers organised by SPPK between September 28-30.

“The programme (of deliberations) was quite comprehensive. We touched all the topics that were needed to be discussed with regard to the current situation in the agro-food sector,” said Semancik.

He added that the V4 agro-food leaders held long talks about the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada as well as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the USA.

“Our joint opinion on this matter is that until we have in hand a detailed CETA agreement we suggest exempting agriculture and food sectors from this international agreement with Canada,” added Semancik.
Leaders of the V4 agriculture chambers see the support measures for farmers issued by the European Commission (EC) as insufficient, according to Semancik.

“We all concurred that the EC package of €500 million – mainly the €150 million designated for reducing production – was very skillfully prepared, especially for major EU agro-players,” said the SPPK chairman.
“They (major EU agro-players) had increased the production at first and now in such a clever way they are going to divide among themselves the resources for reducing production. By doing this they will eventually reach the original production level,” said Semancik.

“We also discussed irrigation water. We touched on the EU directive on introducing fees for surface irrigation water and we exchanged information about the situation in the individual countries,” said Semancik, adding that regarding this directive SPPK proposes for Slovakia only a symbolic fee of one cent per cubic meter (m3).

Moreover, the V4 agro-leaders also discussed the so-called marketing fund aimed at promoting domestic food products. According to Semancik, some V4 countries such as Poland have had long-term experience with such a fund. “In the end we agreed that this issue will be transferred for the next deliberations, as it requires more preparation.”

The meeting of the V4 agriculture chambers in Modra featured representatives of the Czech Agrarian Chamber (AK CR), the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture (NAK), the Polish National Council of Agricultural Chambers (KRIR) and SPPK.