Slovakia supports solutions at EU level that will help secure funding for the pork sector. This was stated on Monday in Brussels by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic Samuel Vlčan (OĽANO nominee).
In an interview with TASR at the meeting of the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council, Vlčan said that the ministry responsible for the agro-sector also spoke about the challenges that the Union remains in the pork sector. A survey by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, on 12 January indicated that Slovakia is on the tail of the Euroblock countries in the production of pork.
According to indicators expressing the total carcass weight of pigs slaughtered in slaughterhouses and farms whose meat is fit for human consumption, Slovakia produced 61,000 tonnes of pork in 2020 (a slight decrease from 62,800 tonnes in 2020), ranked among the last six countries of the Union in this ranking. This situation was also pointed out in November by the Slovak Chamber of Agriculture and Food, which announced that only a third of the pork consumed was of Slovak origin, the rest was imported.
In this context, Vlčan admitted that Slovak pig farmers and meat producers are under great pressure. “It simply came to our notice then large meat producers from countries such as Germany, the Netherlands or Denmark have difficulty locating their overproduction on third country markets. In particular, exports to China have been reduced due to the spread of African swine fever, “he described the situation.
The Minister admitted that was positively surprised to find that other EU Member States were tackling this problem with intensive support for domestic farming; focused on micro and small and medium-sized farms. He reminded that Slovakia was chosen this way at the end of 2021. “The Czech Republic has come up with an initiative for the European Commission at the Council of Ministers to seek additional resources to support domestic pig farming.” At the end of last year, Slovakia supported both large-scale and small-scale pig farms with the historically highest amount of 3.5 million euros., “Vlčan explained. He specified that large farms received 1.5 million euros in aid and support in the amount of two million euros went to individual farms, up to 97 percent of pigs in Slovakia.
According to him, finding additional financial resources in the EU is outside the common European policy, which also includes the Czech government’s call for the European Commission. He also added that because of the spread of African swine fever, supporting smaller farms has its own logic, because in the case of an outbreak, the state has lower costs in spending and disposing of killed animals than in attacking large farms with thousands of animals.
The EU is by far the smallest difference in pork in the world and is the largest export of pork and pork products. The main producer countries of the Union are Germany, Spain and France, which represent half of the total production, Slovakia is at the bottom of this ranking. In 2019, the Union exported around 13% of its total production, with most exports going to East Asia, mainly China.