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Livestock Production

BOVINE ANIMALS

The Czech Republic is self-sufficient in the manufacture of beef. Despite the number of cattle decreasing in the long run, in the past two years there has been a slight overall increase. The number of milking cows has stagnated over the past two years and their yield has increased slightly. In contrast, the number of suckler cows has been increasing in recent years. Beef production, in the long term, is primarily determined by the demand on the domestic market and the export options for beef and, in particular, live bovine animals to foreign markets. However, it also depends on the economics of rearing bovine animals, and on the amount of EU and national subsidy measures. Since 2015 beef production has stayed at around 174 000 tonnes of live weight and self-sufficiency is more than 130 %. Beef production has risen slightly over the long term, whilst beef consumption has fallen slightly.

BOVINE ANIMALS


MILK

The milk sector has its specific position within the food supply chain, it is a source of regular income, it creates jobs in the countryside, contributes to maintaining landscapes and improving soil quality. From the perspective of the CR, milk has been categorised as sensitive since 2010 and thus a directly subsidized commodity in the framework of EU supports. Despite the decline in dairy cows in recent years, the milk yield continues to increase. The annual yield from dairy cows increased from 8 001 litres in 2015 to 8 061 litres in 2016. In 2016 the production of raw cow’s milk in the CR amounted to 2 984.2 million litres, representing an annual increase of 1.3 %. Dairies in the territory purchased 2 458.6 million litres of milk for processing, i.e. a 1% annual increase.

An important factor influencing production, sales and purchase prices is the consumption of milk and milk products. In 2016, the year-on-year overall milk supply and domestic consumption increased with a modest growth in the export and import of dairy products. Although, overall, 2016 was seen as a crisis for milk purchase prices, the breeders’ base can be judged to be more stable with increasing yields and hence efficiency. This was aided by the systematic steps taken by the Ministry of Agriculture.

SCHOOL MILK PROGRAMME

Milk and dairy products contain high-quality milk proteins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc etc. as well as being a source of vitamins. Regular consumption of milk and dairy products protects against osteoporosis, tooth decay, being overweight and obesity. Children should consume about three servings of milk and dairy products daily. That is why the Ministry of Agriculture has implemented the Milk for Schools Project, which is part of the Fruit, Vegetables and Milk for Schools Project and is intended for pupils of primary and secondary schools. Pupils from schools that are registered receive milk (at least two per month) and unflavoured dairy products free of charge, for flavoured dairy products the parents pay a surcharge. Milk products with reduced lactose or organic milk and organic products are also available. Part of the project is also the accompanying educational measures, which are also provided free of charge to pupils. Local dairies can also be involved in the project as suppliers. It is possible to read more about the project at www.szif.cz.

school milk programme


PIGS

For a long time, pork has been the most popular type of meat in the Czech Republic. Its consumption is 43 kg per person per year, which is 54 % of the 79.3 kg of meat consumed per person per year in all. In 2016, self-sufficiency in the production of this agricultural commodity declined slightly to 54.3 %. In contrast, the percentage of imports for domestic pork consumption is higher (62.1 %). Live pigs are imported, but mainly it is pork. On the other hand, there was a further improvement in the reproduction indicators for breeding pigs. In 2016, there were 27 piglets reared per sow, which places the Czech Republic among the advanced countries as concerns breeding in the European Union.

POULTRY AND EGGS

Poultry meat and eggs are traditional and popular commodities in the Czech Republic. This is primarily due to their affordability and ease of preparation in the kitchen. Consumption of poultry meat is around 26 kg per per
son per year. In the case of eggs, this indicator came to 255 per person per year. The consumption of both poultry meat and eggs per capita has increased slightly since 2007. Self-sufficiency in 2016 was 65.5 % for poultry meat and 78.1 % for eggs.

Poultry


SHEEP AND GOATS

The main product of sheep farming in the Czech Republic is lamb meat. Currently sheep breeding is mainly focused on breeds with meat production and then on breeds with combined production. Sheep numbers rose up until 2015 and have since declined slightly. The decrease in the number of sheep did not affect mutton production. The reason was the higher number of ewes and good natality. In comparison with other kinds of meats, however, the consumption of mutton in the CR is low and it is still just a supplementary meat on the domestic market. This mostly only concerns traditional consumption during bank holidays.

In 2016, the number of goats decreased slightly year on year. The overall number of sheep and goat is declining in spite of the increasing demand for mutton and dairy products, which are in greater demand due to the promotion of healthy nutrition. The breeding of these animals is associated with the preservation of biodiversity in the landscape.

RABBITS

Rabbit meat is only a supplementary meat on the domestic market. Recent years have seen mainly chilled meat and products with higher finalization, i.e. a rabbit cut up into portions, emerging on the market. Since 1999, when 16.8 million rabbits were bred, their stocks have decreased 68 % to 5.4 million in 2016. The reason was the fall in sales of rabbit meat, not just on the domestic market, but also on foreign markets. In 2016, the decline in rabbit stocks almost halted. The same level of demand for this type of meat as in 2015 had a large impact on the stabilization of stocks. Demand that outstrips domestic production is supplemented by imports of rabbit meat and imports of predominantly live rabbits for slaughter.

Rabbits


HORSES

The Czech Republic is a country where horse breeding is traditional. Although horse breeding meets other functions than those of breeding other livestock, it clearly falls within the field of agricultural production. According to the Breeding Act No. 155/2000 Coll., the horse is a farm animal. The popularity of horse breeding in the Czech Republic is ongoing and the number of horses has increased annually since 1996. At present, horse stocks are growing only slightly due to a lower number of reproductive mares and are around 90 000 head.