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Plans to expand pig production

WHILE Danish farmers are already present in Slovakia, the plans of Polnovakia Agrar will make them even more visible.

WHILE Danish farmers are already present in Slovakia, the plans of Polnovakia Agrar will make them even more visible.

Polnovakia Agrar, which was established in 2003 by seven Danish investors, mainly farmers, plans to renew an abandoned pig farm, Šándor, near Palárikovo in southern Slovakia. They aim to invest at least €5.5 million in the facility and create almost 60 jobs. If the plans materialise, the farm will become one of the biggest pig breeders in Slovakia, the Hospodárske Noviny economic daily wrote in mid May.

The Danes’ investment is linked to a lack of success of Slovak pig breeders, who, due to the volatile economic situation, were forced to curb or shut down production over the last few years.
Slovak farmers cite absent agro-subsidies, low prices of pigs and a lack of demand as the main reasons for the difficulties in their field.

Vladimír Baláž, the head of Polnovakia Agrar’s supervisory board, said a large drop in pig breeding in Slovakia over the last 15 years, which resulted in Slovakia’s dependence on pig imports to cover its needs, was behind the Danish investment.

The fact that pig breeders in Slovakia are to receive agro-subsidies from EU funds and the state budget in the new 2014-2020 programming period was likely another factor in the Danish investors’ decision. This should also motivate Slovak farmers to resume and expand their pig breeding operations.

“We anticipate an increase in interest of Slovak farmers in weanlings for further breeding in Slovakia,” said Baláž, as cited by the daily.

The Šándor farm will focus on breeding weanlings for subsequent feeding. After the farm is completed in 2016, its capacity should be 7,000 broods and 20,000 weanlings.

Due to the expected EU subsidies Slovak farmers are also interested in investments in pig breeding.
But according to Andrej Imrich, the chairman of the Association of Pig Breeders in Slovakia, as these subsidies still need to be approved for the new programming period, farmers are cautious.
Moreover, a lack of slaughter houses and processing capacities is keeping pig breeding from growing.

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