Lack of state support hampers Slovakian poultry industry

21-01 | | |
Photo: Collin Leynau
Photo: Collin Leynau

The poultry industry in Slovakia suffers from the lack of a systemic state support scheme, which was not designed even in the background of the tough challenges most farmers encountered in 2021.

This is what the director of the Slovak Poultry Union, Daniel Molnár, told local newspaper, Teraz, earlier this month. He highlighted that Slovak farmers are stripped of the money envisaged by a second amendment to the state aid scheme for the prevention, control, and eradication of animal diseases in the European Union approved by Brussels in January 2020. He explained that under this programme, farmers get reimbursement for the cost of cleaning and disinfection of their production facilities.

Slovakian poultry sector less competitive

There is not clear why the promised funds have not been provided in Slovakia yet, but it makes local farmers less competitive on the European market, according to Molnar.

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Although the scheme has been in existence for 2 years and the funding distribution guidelines have already been developed and approved, Slovak farmers have not received any reimbursement, Molnár, said, adding that in neighbouring Czech Republic, for example, poultry farmers got around €35.5 million of state aid through this programme in 2021.

Molnár stressed that the absence of state aid significantly reduces the competitiveness of Slovak poultry producers and processors.

A tough year with rising costs

Slovak poultry farmers have gone through a very challenging year, with all production costs increasing throughout 2021, Molnár said.

“Year-on-year, we recorded an increase in production costs in poultry farming by around €0.10/kg of live poultry from €0.83 to €0.92,” he said, adding that at the beginning of 2022, production costs are expected to rise further by €0.07 per kg.

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The price of poultry feed jumped by 20% in 2021, while labor costs went up by 10%, he said. In the laying hen segment, the picture is similar, as average production costs rose from €0.08 to €0.088 in 2021 due to the rise in prices for feed, package, electricity, and fuel, he estimated.

“We have reasonable concerns that a large number of poultry farmers will have to shut down their businesses in the current conditions, and a significant decline in the Slovak poultry processing will be seen. The share of Slovak poultry meat on store shelves will sharply drop as a result,” said Molnar, adding that the market must be braced for the rise of imported poultry products.

Vorotnikov
Vladislav Vorotnikov Eastern European correspondent



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