IN SHORTS

Agriculture sector will be ready in time

ONE DAY after the European Commission released its final monitoring report on the acceding member states, Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon said he was convinced that Slovakia will eliminate all shortcomings in the agricultural sector by May 2004, when the country plans to enter the EU.

Simon said at a November 6 press conference that the agricultural paying agency that will transfer funding from Brussels to Slovak farmers will start working in December of this year.

Land registration, which is needed for the drawing of funds from Brussels, was nearly finished, and the minister also said that the registration of cattle should soon be completed.

According to the minister, nearly half of the 1,145 food processing firms that were criticized by the EU for failing to meet hygienic standards have already met the required criteria.

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