Head of the SSHR: Increasing the state’s food supply to 15 days would cost up to CZK 12 billion

Updates: 22.05.2022 15:08

Prague – The state has in stock 13 million daily rations of food in case of emergency, which would cover consumption for about 1.3 days. An increase in food stocks for 15 days would cost up to 12 billion crowns. This was stated by the chairman of the State Material Reserves Administration (SSHR) Pavel Švagr on Czech Television in the program Otázky Václava Moravec. The Ministry of Agriculture is currently proposing to increase the budget of the organization managing state stocks by half a billion crowns.

The previous government decided to increase food stocks from three to 15 days at the end of last year, said Švagr. “But those 15 days are not a matter of next year. Last year there was an agreement that we should go for those 15 days in the next 15 years,” he warned. But the government can change that, he added. Filling the warehouses for more than two weeks would cost the state at current prices of 11 to 12 billion crowns, Švagr estimated.

The Ministry of Agriculture has already proposed to increase the SSHR budget by 500 million crowns. The head of the ministry, Zdeněk Nekula (KDU-ČSL), said last week before the government meeting that he wanted to increase the “iron reserve” of foodstuffs from the state. According to him, it is not just about cereals, the availability of which is speculated in the world due to the conflict in Ukraine.

The cabinet of Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) interrupted the discussion on the request of the Minister of Agriculture last week. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Marian Jurečka (KDU-ČSL) told reporters after the cabinet meeting that the government will assess the overall state of state reserves and the ministers will discuss claims for additional items and possible additional priorities for the SSHR.

In order to increase food security, the reserve administration wants to propose an amendment to the law to the government by the summer, which would allow the introduction of a reservation system. Under current law, all material reserves must be 100% state property. In the new system, SSHR would book the necessary commodity from the supplier and only in the event of a crisis would it buy it at the usual price in time and place.

According to Švagr, the reservation system would be a supplement to the existing method of obtaining reserves. It could increase the interest of suppliers in participating in tenders that SSHR announces. The reservation system could be applied not only to food, Švagr added today.

The SSHR provides the state with crisis supplies. In warehouses and storage tanks, for example, it has oil and oil products, medical protective equipment or food. These are mainly frozen meat, canned food, butter, milk powder, grain, cheese, sugar or salt. Most food is stored by SSHR with external suppliers.

Source: České noviny – hlavní události by www.ceskenoviny.cz.

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