CHAIRMEN of regional agricultural and food chambers meeting on October 20 drew the attention of the Slovak government and parliament to what they say is the farming sector’s most dire economic situation since the establishment of the Slovak Republic in 1993, the SITA newswire reported.
The farmers’ representatives say that parts of the government’s agricultural programme remain unfulfilled and that the 2010 state budget draft even curbs funding of direct payments to farmers and reduces the volume of state aid to the agricultural and food sector.
The chairmen are appealing to members of parliament to respect the Slovak government’s programme statement when approving the state budget for next year and to ensure an increase in the national co-financing of direct payments to farmers to a level of 30 percent from the Agriculture Ministry’s budget. They are also asking parliament to increase state aid to a level that will ensure the competitiveness of Slovak farmers. If these proposals are not acted upon, they plan to organise petitions, protests and other forms of public demonstration.