Agriculture Ministry to stay the course under Pivec
Pivec, who was endorsed in a 11:5 vote, said the countryside must be "settled, preserved and farmed", while special attention must be dedicated to the increasing age of farmers.
Slovenia has a very specific agricultural sector since animal husbandry accounts for 80% of farming. The challenge is to follow the trend towards increasing production and consumption of plant-based food.
Pivec announced efforts to move animal production from flatlands to hilly areas so that production of vegetables and grains could be expanded in the flatlands.
This will be coupled with measures to improve productivity, factor income and value added, she said. These are priorities that she also laid out before joining the Marjan Šarec government in the autumn of 2018.
"We are planning a strong investment cycle focused on technological improvements and digitalisation, and consequently the strengthening of productivity and competitiveness."
Pivec also plans measures to increase the share of organically produced food, a segment she says Slovenia is well placed to grow in.
Turning to the common agricultural policy, Pivec said that talks on the bloc's next multi-year budgetary framework were ongoing and criticism that Slovenia has missed out were misplaced.
"We are the first to have embarked on very precise planning of the next multiannual framework at national level ... Slovenia will be among the first EU member states to have a strategic plan," she said.
Questions by MPs focused on specific issues in the domain of the agriculture ministry.
Asked about her position on glyphosate, a controversial pesticide whose continued use Slovenia endorsed in 2017, Pivec said she was in favour of a ban but alternatives were needed first; they are not available yet.
For medical marijuana, which is not yet entirely legal, she said her ministry was in talks with the health department and if the decision was made to allow growing of marijuana for medical purposes, the requisite legislation would be prepared.
Pivec also faced allegations from the Left that she was the least productive minister in the outgoing government, having failed to produce any substantive legislation apart from minor amendments.
She said the ministry had drawn up almost ten laws, but that anyway its work should not be measured by the number of laws.