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Big Head Start Plus State Subsidies Drive Organic Farming Growth In Czech Republic

March 10, 2010: 02:43 AM EST
Despite problems like government red tape and higher production costs, organic farming and processing in the Czech Republic are growing steadily enough to be deemed a substantial success. The number of organic farms hit 2,689 in 2009, accounting for 400,000 hectares, or 9.38 percent of total farmland, according to industry researcher Bioinstitut. The country’s organic agriculture track record going back to 1980 gave it a head start over other EU states, of course, but a doubling of government subsidies between 2006 and 2008 was the major shot in the arm. And organic farmers have reason to be optimistic about their economic future: most supermarkets in Prague, for example, carry organic products. A side benefit: innovative farming methods are teaching lessons that could have a long-term environmental impact on the country.
Philip Heijman , "Organic farmers seeing growth", Prague Post, March 10, 2010, © Prague Post, spol. s.r.o
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