Payments to farmers will be unrestricted to large businesses

Direct payments to farmers will not have restrictions for large businesses, but smaller farmers will get a more significant share. The maximum amount of investment subsidies will also fall. The coalition council agreed on this on Tuesday evening, Agriculture Ministry spokesman Vojtěch Bílý said on Wednesday.

So far, the ministry’s proposal for the payment of subsidies for the years 2023 to 2027 envisaged a capping of subsidies to large agricultural enterprises. Still, several thousand people protested against it on Tuesday evening in front of the government office at an event organized by the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic.

Under the new proposal, 23 percent of the total direct payments go to the so-called redistributive price, i.e., a subsidy to support the first 150 hectares of each company. Until now, it has been ten percent. The support could be up to CZK 20 000 per hectare in the organic farming scheme. The upper limit for investment subsidies per project will be CZK 30 million, whereas, in the past, it was up to CZK 150 million, which mainly benefited large enterprises.

All farms, regardless of size, can participate in organic farming, and a significant part of the subsidies will be directed there. The amended proposal will do more to promote water and soil conservation and a more diverse landscape. Support for permanent grassland will no longer be under direct payments. The money will come from rural development grants.