The flood of cheaper agricultural products has hurt Slovakian farmers
Slovakian farmers lost about €200 million as a result of the vast influx of Ukrainian agricultural produce into the country, the Minister of Agriculture Samuel Vlchan revealed on Wednesday as cited by the national news agency TASR.
Last year, the EU lifted tariffs and quotas for Ukrainian agricultural produce and worked to facilitate its exportation, in an attempt to support Kiev financially. However, Eastern European nations have faced protests as local farmers have struggled to compete with cheaper imports.
“Processing of grain and oilseeds alone led to financial damages of about €200 million sustained by Slovak farmers,” Vlchan said, adding that the nation had to introduce additional security measures at the borders.
“However, Slovakia has never blocked transit of Ukrainian crops,” the minister added.
Slovak authorities had previously banned the processing and sale of Ukrainian grain after discovering a dangerous pesticide in a shipment. The ban, duration of which was not specified, covers all grain of Ukrainian origin and flour made from it.
READ MORE: EU nation bans Ukrainian grain
Earlier this month, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Bulgaria agreed to keep Ukrainian food products out of their markets. Last week, the European Commission offered €100 million ($109 million) in support for farmers in the five member states, nearly twice the amount Brussels initially allocated for the purpose.
The EC also agreed to introduce ban on imports of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds from Ukraine until June. But after that, the ministers of Agriculture of Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary demanded to expand the list of products that fall under the ban.
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April 27, 2023 at 10:45AM