Czech agriculture is facing the worst shortage of labour in its history. The number of agricultural workers and students of secondary schools focused on agriculture agricultural has fallen to a record low, the daily Hospodářské noviny reported on Wednesday. Over the past 10 years, the number students in these secondary school dropped from 175,000 to 96, 000.
Czech wine growers say freezing weather at the end of April will cost them around half a billion crowns. A national association of vintners said on Tuesday that the price of grapes was likely to rise this year due to a projected shortage. Of the country’s wine growing areas, Velkopavlovická was hardest hit last month, sustaining a likely 20 percent fall in output. By contrast Znojmo suffered practically zero damage.
Czech breweries last year produced over 20 million hectolitres of beer, which is the biggest amount in the country’s history, according to the latest figures released by the Czech Beer and Malt Association this week. The production was fuelled mainly by increasing domestic consumption as well as increasing exports. The number of breweries has also gone up last year. Compared to 2015, production of beer and non-alcoholic beer increased last year by nearly two percent. Production of non-alcoholic beer was up by 17 percent to reach a total of 555,000
Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka has confirmed that the state-owned brewery Budějovický Budvar will be headed by Petr Dvořák, until now global brand director at rival Pilsner Urquell. Dvořák will take up the post on May 1. He replaces the former head, Jiří Boček, who ran the brewery since the early 1990s but stepped down earlier this year for health reasons.
Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka announced that the new head of the new head of the state-owned brewery Budějovický Budvar will be Petr Dvořák, until now the global brand director at rival brewery Pilsner Urquell (Plzeňský). As of May 1 he will replace the long-time director Jiří Boček, who led Budvar since 1991 but stepped down at the start of the year because of health issues. Budvar's economic director Petr Žáček has been leading the firm since Boček stepped down. Budvar is the fourth largest brewer in the Czech Republic and exports to over 75 countries.
Fruit and grape producers in South Moravia are starting to try and put a cost on the possible damage from severe frosts which occurred on Thursday night. Temperatures fell to minus three degrees Celsius in some parts of the region though growers said there were many local differences in the severity of the possible damage. Growers made last minute attempts to curb the expected damage with protective coverings and fires. Initial estimates say the damage to the fruit crop could come to hundreds of millions of crowns but it could take a week or 10 days for a more precise figure to be arrived at.
In central Europe the name Zelený čtvrtek or Green Thursday (known in English as Maundy Thursday) inspired a tradition of eating green food, such as salad and spinach. Many Czechs have embraced this practice and the sworn meat-eaters simply down their stake with a pint of green beer. The annual green beer festivities originated in Brno twelve years ago and have now spread to many parts of the country.
Tomatoes from the Netherlands, garlic from China, lettuce from Spain, and apples from Italy. These are all examples of what is wrong in the Czech agricultural sector according to the government and many farmers’ leaders. A strategy aimed at boosting domestic production and exports has been put together by the Ministry of Agriculture amid doubts whether some of the ambitious goals can be achieved.
Farmers’ markets, which have proven to be hugely popular across the Czech Republic could be hit by the recent introduction of the new electronic cash registers system (EET), designed to clamp down on areas of the grey economy and to bring in more tax revenues. According to Czech news site iDnes, some stall owners have decided to yank their wares because of the EET. Farmers’ products will come under the third wave of the system, beginning in March of next year.
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