Czech farmers fight over CAP Strategic plan

Small farmers are up in arms over the national strategic plan to implement the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in Czechia. [Shutterstock / Losonsky]

Small farmers are up in arms over the national strategic plan to implement the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in Czechia, calling for more sustainable agricultural funding while larger farmers oppose last-minute changes.

On Tuesday, the Czech Agrarian Chamber, which represents larger farms, will protest in Prague to express their disagreement with the planned modification of the strategic plan to the new administration.

The new leadership wants to cap the direct payments for large farms currently dominating Czech agriculture, a move opposed by the Agrarian Chamber.

However, the Association of Private Farming is supporting caps on subsidies and calling for better support of small-sized farms.

The row between the farmers escalated on 9 January when the small farmers association leaked the guidelines distributed among large farmers. In these guidelines allegedly produced by the Agrarian Chamber for Tuesday’s demonstration, farmers found instructions saying, “do not tell journalists that the president of the Chamber asked you to join the demonstration” etc.

The Agrarian Chamber now wants to file a lawsuit against the association.

Capping the direct payments for large farmers was topping the Czech discussion about the new CAP in past years. EU member states were supposed to submit their national strategic plan – including a decision on subsidies capping – by the end of 2021.

However, one-third of the countries have missed the deadline. While the former government, led by agri-food tycoon Andrej Babiš was in favour of large farms, the new government wants to change the country’s agricultural policy.

(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)

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