The Environment Ministry is to receive an additional 250 million crowns
from the state budget next year to fight drought, bringing the
ministry's 2020 budget to 16 billion crowns, Environment Minister
Richard Brabec said following talks with Finance Minister Alena Schillerova
on Thursday. The additional funds are to be used for long-term landscape
changes, the construction of artificial water basins, wetland restoration
and support for water saving projects.
On Monday, scientists from the Czech University of Agriculture, who conducted a study into the possible future impacts of drought on the Czech economy, said that the state should spend at least CZK 25 billion annually in order to contain water in the country’s soil.
Another long-term drought could cost the Czech economy up to 80 billion crowns, equivalent to a drop of 1.6 percentage points in GDP, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Life Sciences warn that in order to conserve water for essential use, key industries would be forced to cut production, adding an exponential ripple effect to the surface-level economic impact.
President Miloš Zeman and Agriculture Minister Miroslav Toman attended the
opening of the annual agricultural trade fair Země živitelka 2019 in
České Budějovice on Thursday. The largest domestic show of agricultural
equipment, products and animals attracts tens of thousands of visitors
The trade fair is accompanied by dozens of side events focusing on topical issues relating to agriculture such as bark beetle infestation, water management and measures to fight drought.
In his opening speech at the trade fair President Zeman called for common sense in fighting the bark-beetle infestation and opposed efforts to expand the no-go zones in the country’s national parks.
The first burčák of 2019 has gone on sale in South Moravia, the Czech
News Agency reported on Tuesday. Among those offering the fermented young
wine is Miloslav Machuča from Valtice, who began selling it on Friday. Mr.
Machuča said this year’s grapes were of high quality and in plentiful
supply, meaning that 2019 burčák is also good.
The appearance of burčák, which is fizzy and can resemble fruit juice, is linked to the start of the country’s grape harvesting season.
The Czech Republic’s grain harvest should be 8 percent higher this year
than in 2018, according to official estimates released on Tuesday. When it
comes to cereals, both yield per hectare and total area sowing area have
increased on last year.
By contrast the oilseed rape harvest is expected to fall by 15.3 percent this year. Earlier estimates for both crops had been higher.
One of the regional heads of the Czech Agrarian Chamber, Jaroslav Šíma, told the Czech News Agency on Tuesday that Czech farmers are against what they see as a campaign of describing pig and cattle farms as a major producer of greenhouse gasses. The statement was made in response to last week’s special report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which also looked into the effects of global eating habits and farming practices.
The Czech Environment Ministry is up in arms over a decision by the Central Institute for Supervision and Testing in Agriculture allowing farmers to use a highly toxic rat poison in fields, orchards, meadows and vineyards. They claim it will “harm all living things in the vicinity”, a warning that has made the agriculture minister break off his holiday and come back to Prague for emergency talks.
The Czech government has temporarily suspended plans to give farmers
blanket permission to use a certain type of rat poison in fields, orchards,
meadows and vineyards. The cabinet is set to debate the proposed use of the
Stutox II poison on Monday.
The Environment Ministry said Stutox II presents a serious threat to birds and other animals, including household pets, and that its use violates the law on landscape protection.
Its use was given the green light by the Central Institute for Supervision and Testing in Agriculture. The institute, which is under the auspices of the Agriculture Ministry, has confirmed that the poison had never been used on Czech territory.
Czech farmers had sought permission to use the poison mainly to combat a widespread infestation of voles, which have decimated grain and rapeseed crops and are threatening corn, beet, sunflower production.
Keeping global warming well below the 2º Celsius target can be achieved only by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors, including land and food, according to a new United Nations report. Among other things, it outlines dire warnings about the effects of global eating habits and farming practices.
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