14 March 2017, Bratislava
On Tuesday, 14 March, the conference Leaders of Slovak Agriculture Meeting was held in Radison Blu Carlton Hotel in Bratislava. Discussion on the current state and future development of Slovak agriculture with top representatives of government and directors of Slovak agricultural companies was held for the third time. The debate was also attended by other important representatives of Slovak agriculture in the audience, in total more than 300 VIP company representatives. The general partner of the conference was again O.M.C. Invest company.
The conference was opened by Jiří Vacek, CEO, CEEC Research, who published the results of the Quarterly Analysis of Slovak Agriculture Q1/2017. Gabriela Matečná, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic, spoke to participating farmers and highlighted the ways in which the state wants to contribute to the enhancement of Slovak food sales on the shelves of local stores: "The Ministry of Agriculture has launched preparatory work for the National Food Catalogue, where all the food that we can produce and finish in Slovakia, will be ranked by commodity, content of substances and freshness. All those who want to buy, will be able to use this catalog." explains the Minister.
The speech was followed by a discussion on strategy for development of Slovak agriculture. Milan Semančík, Chairman of the Slovak Agricultural and Food Chamber (SAFC) and Vladimír Chovan, Vice-chairman of Agri-food Sector of the Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) approached what steps are expected by Slovak farmers and food producers in order to enhance their industry. Ladislav Dobrodenka, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, SCCI, emphasized the importance of achieving steady state subsidies for individual EU countries, and that the state should encourage agricultural companies to produce. The issue of growing interest of foreign investors in agricultural land was commented by Dominika Kucharovičová, Business Development Manager, O.M.C. Invest, who confirmed this interest. The rules for the purchase of agricultural land were explained by Jaroslav Puškáč, Director General, Section of Legislation, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The conference was also attended by Juraj Kožuch, Director General, Agricultural Paying Agency (APA): "Systemic measures must be accepted also within the institution paying the funds. Implementation of systemic measures in APA relates with maximum possible extent of deployment of information technologies, computerization and a very fast communication with applicants for supports. We are working on it for a couple of months. Only fast communication and good information can bring good decision making.
The following spoke representatives of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Milan Lapšanský, Director General, Section of Food Industry and Trade and Jana Vargová, Director, Crop Production Department.
Also farmers from the audience actively involved in the debate. They were interested especially in support for young farmers and the problem of the different subsidies for farmers in the European Union countries.