The Slovenia Times

Delo says agricultural policy in need of overhaul

Industry & Agriculture

Ljubljana - There is no time any more to postpone key decisions to improve the situation of farmers, the food industry and consumers, says the newspaper Delo on Friday, noting that Slovenia's proposal for the 2023-2027 Common Agricultural Policy strategic plan largely maintains a used up and outdated promotion of livestock farming.

Slovenian farmers as well as the entire food processing industry are faced with numerous troubles, such as the pandemic, frost and other unfavourable weather conditions, supply chain disruptions, crop surpluses, a drop in purchase prices, rising raw material costs and energy price hikes.

Farmers get practically nothing from inflation, as "retailers have the upper hand" in Slovenia. Nevertheless, the agricultural sector is also part responsible for "its unenviable situation", says Delo, adding that small producers should form stronger chains and invest more in protection from weather-based risks, for example.

"But change must also happen from the top down." More than 30 NGOs have called on the Agriculture Ministry to focus on a green and sustainable shift from livestock farming to plant-based food production.

"Former Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec, under whom the 2023-2027 strategic agriculture plan started to be drawn up, made populist promises of incentives for crop production."

Fast forward almost two years, the ministry, now led by Jože Podgoršek, has produced a strategy that mainly maintains the outdated direction of putting livestock farming front and centre.

Hidden cameras at a pig farm and slaughterhouse showed that this area is in need of change as well. But what also raises concerns is that there is no way of telling whether Slovenian farming will be greener in the new programme period.

"We need swift, profound changes if we want to improve the situation for farmers, the food industry and consumers. A new, much worse virus could come knocking at our door at any time," concludes the commentary There is No Time to Postpone Key Decisions.


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