PM bets farm on existing minister
Greater efforts at protecting the Land Resources Fund, increased support for crucial commodities, vigilance over the quality of domestic foodstuffs and preparations for the battle with climate change required, in part, to ward off the threat of worsening drought impacts. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka offered these points as just some of the highlights of Marian Jurečka’s three years as agriculture minister for which he said there should be appreciation.
“The [agriculture] ministry has succeeded in fulfilling the major part of those things related to agriculture which are in the government programme,” said Social Democrat Sobotka.
During the final year of the ruling coalition’s term of office, the agriculture ministry is to focus on completing its green diesel support initiative for farmers, pushing through amended laws covering winemakers and hunters and gamekeepers and assisting cattle breeders. “Our ambitions through to the end of the term of office also extend to managing to create a fund for uninsured risks,” added Jurečka, a Christian Democrat.
The Agrarian Chamber was not, however, impressed. For instance, it is expecting the agriculture minister to deal with retail chains’ abuse of their dominant position in their dealings with producers. It is also awaiting more significant and conceptual support for Czech foodstuffs and protection against imports deemed too cheap. “We know this is about a long-distance run, but from our perspective, we are not getting much nearer to the finishing line,” said Agrarian Chamber spokesperson Dana Večeřová.
Sobotka met with Jurečka during one of his meetings designed to take stock of the progress of his administration. The PM has weighed up the performance of each ministry and each minister. He lately replaced his Social Democrat human rights and health ministers in a cabinet reshuffle.