Support for Slovak primary milk producers will amount to €33 million this year.
“From the Finance Ministry we’ll allocate €30 million and from the Agriculture Ministry’s budget €3 million,” Prime Minister Robert Fico told the July 4 press conference, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
As Brussels might consider this money as representing unauthorised state assistance, the cabinet wants to give this money to Slovak farmers without specifying the purpose of the assistance, Fico added.
“It’s then up to farmers how the money will be spent,” the prime minister said.
The state financial aid is “a sort of bandaid in order to improve the situation in the dairy sector a little bit, but not completely”, said Slovak Association of Primary Milk Producers (SZPM) chairman Alexander Pastorek, as reported by TASR.
A search for systematic measures that would ensure that the money for farmers will be guaranteed from the Agriculture Ministry’s budget under well-defined conditions in the future will also be needed, Pastorek added.
The recent report of Slovakia’s Agrarian Market Information (ATIS) revealed that the decline in the average purchase price of raw milk in Slovakia continued in May. The price dropped month-on-month by 4.2 percent to €23.67 per 100 kg. When compared with May 2015, the average purchase price of milk dropped by 15.1 percent. Since the beginning of 2016, the average purchase price of milk has dropped by 14 percent, while in the first five months of 2015 the figure decreased by 9.4 percent, TASR wrote.
SZPM reported in March that the overall incomes of dairy farmers in 2015 dropped by more than €43 million compared to 2014. SZPM estimated that primary milk producers had losses of almost €60 million in 2015 – the year Brussels cancelled milk quotas.
6. Jul 2016 at 6:57 | Compiled by Spectator staff