There is a sufficient quantity of food reserves in the Czech Republic, with food processors having prepared plans and supply routes secured, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has asked Czechs to stop panic buying in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Agriculture Ministry stressing that people do not need to horde food. However, in some goods, such as pork, self-sufficiency is not present, the Czech News Agency reports.
As the number of COVID-19 infections continues to rise in Europe, the Czech government is increasing precautions. At a press briefing on Thursday Health Minister Adam Vojtěch stressed that as of yet there are no confirmed cases of the virus in the Czech Republic and urged citizens not to give way to panic.
Nearly 80 percent of Czechs consider the dual quality of food in European stores a problem. A study carried out by the KPMG agency suggests that roughly every seventh Czech consumer prefers to buy certain products abroad and nearly one third of them refrain from buying certain products due to the dual quality issue.
Czech agricultural authorities plan to give permits to farmers to use
Stutox II, a rat poison, to combat an infestation of voles in fields,
orchards, meadows and vineyards.
Last summer, the Ministry of Agriculture put a ban on the poison’s blanket use after the Ministry of Environment warned it poses a threat to birds and other animals, including pets.
Now, only areas with five times the so-called harmful threshold of voles can apply for permits to use Stutox II. The authorities expect the first permits will be issued by late February.
Consumer prices rose on average by 2.8 percent last year, the highest annual increase since 2012, according to data released by the Czech Statistics Agency on Monday. The most influential factor on the rise of inflation was the growth in housing prices, the head of the agency’s Consumer Prices Statistics Unit Pavla Šedivá told news site iHNed.cz. Another factor was the rise in food prices, and rents. Meanwhile, clothing and shoe prices had a downward trend.
Czech agricultural turnover exceeded CZK 19.4 billion last year,
discounting EU subsidies, according to preliminary data of the Institute of
Agricultural Economics and Information, released on Thursday.
Agricultural production in 2018 rose by 9.1 billion crowns to over CZK 151 billion, while expenditures increased by CZK six billion to 175 billion.
According to the head of the Agrarian Chamber, Zdeněk Jandejsek, EU subsidies account for up to 25 percent of the country’s overall agricultural production.
The European Commission is seeking the return of CZK 1.6 billion paid out
in agricultural subsidies to the Czech Republic, iRozhlas.cz reported on
Thursday. The penalty is based on an audit carried out three years ago
aimed at establishing whether the funding was actually being used by
farmers under the “active farmer” concept.
The European Commission says the Czech Ministry of Agriculture failed to keep sufficient tabs on how the subsidies were being allocated.
The Ministry of Agriculture disputes the findings of the EU audit and wishes to contest the amount set. It will therefore request a conciliation procedure, iRozhlas.cz said.
Czechs will have to pay more for spirits and tobacco products in 2020.
Under a tax amendment approved by Parliament in December the excise tax on tobacco and cigarettes will go up by 10 percent in 2020, while that on spirits by 13 percent.
Certain forms of gambling will also see a tax increase from 23 to 25 percent.
While the ministry expects the price of a packet of cigarettes to rise by around five crowns next year, tobacco companies say consumers are likely to pay an extra 12 or 13 crowns.
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