Czech Republic very dependent on vegetable imports
In 2009, the value of vegetable imports stood at 9.3 billion crowns (€361 mln), while last year, that figure came to over 14 billion crowns (€543 mln). The amount of imported vegetables increased from 648,000 tons in 2009 to nearly 856,000 tons last year. Meanwhile, Czech vegetable exports increased from 150,000 tons in 2009 to 191,000 tons in 2017.
The average Czech person consumes some 81 kilos of vegetables a year, with 54 kilos being imported from abroad. Vegetables grown in the Czech Republic only cover around one third of local consumption. Most vegetables are imported to the country from the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Germany and Italy. While the Netherland and Spain mostly supply the Czech market with tomatoes and cucumbers, Polish farmers import onions, cabbage and cauliflower.
Radio.cz describes how vegetables in the Czech Republic are grown on an area of 10,000-11,000 hectares. In 2017, Czech farmers produced 265,000 tons of vegetables. This year, the yield is estimated to drop by around 15 percent due to the prolonged drought.
Vegetables traditionally grown in the Czech Republic include onions, cabbage, peas and carrots. Due to a growing demand for cherry tomatoes, an increasing number of green houses have been built around the country in recent years. ■