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Plateforme de connaissances sur l'agriculture familiale

  République tchèque

The structure of agricultural holdings in the Czech Republic is specific due to most of the farmland being operated by business corporations. The situation is a result of the historical development in past decades of centrally planned economics. After the politico-economical shift after 1990, only partial return to management on a family farm basis was achieved. Family farms are roughly defined as agricultural establishments owned by individuals in which the hired workforce’s contribution does not exceed that of family members. Such establishments cultivate around 30 % of Czech Republic’s farmland.

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The group of farms defined this way is very diverse and encompasses, according to the Agriculture Register of Czech Statistical Office at the end of 2014 a total of over 25,800 subjects (i.e. 96.3 % of total subjects observed), ranging from farms without farmland (i.e. focused mostly on livestock production) to farms with acreage reaching  hundreds or even thousands of hectares. Legally, it consists of agricultural entrepreneurs – individuals registered in accordance with Law n. 252/1997 Col., about agriculture. The average farmland acreage attributable to a farm defined in this manner amounts to 39 hectares, or 40 when disregarding farms without agricultural land. Furthermore, it can be accepted that some farms that were established as limited companies have a family farm character and their legal status is determined by fiscal or other conditions of enterprise. Amongst the advantages of family farm in context of conditions in Czech Republic we can consider higher flexibility when utilizing own resources – labour and farmland, and coupled with this, a presumably better resistance against economical fluctuations as a result of flexibility in remunerating own labour, and reducing the reliance on cash flow due to utilising own resources – farmland, labour. A higher level of co-operation and diversification of operations is another advantage of family farms.

From the societal viewpoint, the most important asset of family farms is their contribution to fulfilling the concept of a multifunctional character of agriculture (internalising the effects of business particularly into own farmland and country living – the subsidies are potentially cheaper for tax payers). Family farms also represent a certain specific way of life with a long-term focus on own family and its homestead, which is not only a particularly important contribution to preserving the country life, but also for the care in relation to soil fertility, contentment of kept animals and building maintenance, which can be a substantially positive factor in regard to landscape appearance. Amongst the negatives there are, especially concerning the small farms, a lesser degree of using the size advantages and in connection with this, a potentially lower efficiency of factor utilisation and sometimes a more difficult access to external resources for development (credit).

From the performed economical comparisons of family farms and large agricultural business corporations by the operational aspect, we can draw the following conclusions:

•    lower input utilisation efficiency of family farms
•    higher operational support and their higher contribution to revenues of family farms
•    lower level of net value added and thus lower wages of family farms‘ hired workforce
•    sufficient resources for the wages of working family members while earning adequate profits, concerning medium-to larger-sized family farms
The most important interest NGO representing the family farms in Czech Republic is association of private agriculture of Czech Republic, professional organisation of private farmers.

 

Texte aimablement fourni par les autorités du pays.

Family farming lex

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