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INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS DIV.
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""'~ ""'~ IIIII~
A Survey of Czechoslovakia's Agriculture
(u.S.) Economic Research Service
. . . ;................__...I
• 1III11t ... ,. ....
TI. IlEPO:tr NO.
.. ....phftt'. _al&lon No.
4. TItle and Subtitle
.. IIIIport Dec.
A Survey of Czechoslovakia's Agrie.ulture
7. Author(s) .. PItrformI. Orpnlntlon Rapt. No.
•• Performl. O,..nlzetlon Name and Add,... 10. PnIfect/TnII/WOrII Unit No.
International Economics Division
Economic Research Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Washingt0n, D.C. 20250
II. CoIItrRt(C) or Grent(G) No.
II. SponlOri. O,..nlutlon Name end Add,...
II. SuPPlementary Not..
II. Abatrec:t (Um!t: 200 worda)
,," Czechoslovakia is one of the most industrialized countries in Eastern Europe, and
agriculture plays a minor role in the economy, contributing only 10.5 percent of
national income in 1980. Of the arable land, 94 percent is held in socialized owner
ship, but private production supplies a large share of meat, livestock products, fruits,
and vegetables. The emphasis of current agricultural policy is on attai.ning self
sufficiency in grain production to reduce costly imports. Furthermore, u~der the
seventh Five Year Plan (1981-85), crop production will grow faster than livestock
production, and cattle and sheep raising will be stressed rather than pig and poultry
raising. Czechoslovakia is a net"agricultural importer. The United States ranked
a.s it 13th largest trading partner in 1980, providing most of the corn and a large
portion of the oilseed and meal imports. , - \
17. Document Ana"... a. Dnctf".,. Agriculture
Policies Prices Production Subsidies b. fdentf....../Open.£nded Tenn.
Prices as of 1/1/82: Paper: Fiche: Cost codes are:
for Paper 05-C
c. COIATI field/Group
and A01 for Fiche
;-;;.,.~I1'''''' CleM (ThIg Report)
ZI. No.or ......
National Technical Information Service
Unclassified 5285 Port Royal Road t Springfield, VA 22161
.. Iecurttr CleM (YhI......,
See box 17
.~ ........................ OPI'IDIIAL . . . . Z7I
.,.arbMnt fII ~CoI-m"'",,"'e"'rce"
A Survey of Economic
Agriculture Foreign Agricultural
Grain harvesting on a collective farm. Photo courtesy of the
Embassy of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
A SURVEY OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA'S AGRICULTURE. By Robert Cummings,
International Economics Division, Economic Research Service,
U.S. Department of Agriculture. Foreign Agricultural Economic
Report No. 171.
Czechoslovakia is one of the most industrialized countries in
Eastern Europe, and agriculture plays a minor role in the econ
omy, contributing only 10.5 percent of national income in 1980.
Of the arable land, 94 percent is held in socialized owr·r
ship, but private production supplies a large share of ~eat,
livestock products, fruits, and vegetables. The emphasis of
current agricultural policy is on attaining self-sufficiency
in grain production to reduce costly imports. Furthermore, un
der the seventh Five Year Plan (1981-85), crop production will
grow faster than livestock production and cattle and sheep
raising will be stressed rather than pig and poultry raising.
Czechoslovakia is a net agricultural importer. The United
States ranked as its 13th largest trading partner in 1980,
providing most of the corn and a large portion of the oilseed
and meal imports.
Czechoslovakia, agricultural organization, policy,
inputs, production, and trade, agricultural prices
and subsidies, food consumption~
Metric units are used throughout:
1 metric ton - 2,204.6 pounds 1 kilogram 2.2046 pounds 1 hectare 2.471 acres Additional copies of this report may be ordered from:
National Technical Information Service 5285 Port Royal Road Springfield, VA 22161 Order this report by using PB82-193-533, and indicate whether
you want paper copies or microfiche.
Washington, D.C. 20250
CONTENTS StJ!fi.fARY ••••• e • • • • a
INTRODUCTION •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ~......
AGRICULTURE IN THE ECONOMY
AGRICULTURAL PRICES AND SUBSIDIES
............... G ........... . PRODUCTION •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Crops •••••••••••••••••••••• ~ ••••• ~ •••••••••• ~ •••••••••• t>.
INPUTS IN AGRICULTURE •••••••••• e • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 10 ...............................................
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 0 ••••••••••••••
10 11 11
11 12 AGRICULTURAL TRADE ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 14 U.S.-CZECHOSLOVAK TRADE •••••••••••••••••• ~ ••••••••• o • • • • • • • 16 REFERENCES
19 u.s. agricultural exports accounted for almost 60 percent of all
U.S.-Czechoslovak trade in 1977-81. To maintain or increa.e
these exports in the eighties, U.S. exporters will face insti
tutional problems within Czechoslovakia--a shortage of foreign
exchange, plans to reduce reliance on costly imports by incr.~A.
ing domestic output, and a general slowdown in econom1~ growtb.
U.S. producers of key commodities will find it tougher to
penetrate the Czechoslovak markeL as authorities strive to
import as much as possible of Czechoslovakia's grain and oilseed
requirements from other East European countries before turning
to Western supplies. The United States is Czechoslovakia's 13th
largest tradi~lg partner. Total tra,de is small--$164.2 million
Agriculture plays a minor role in Czecbuslovakia's domestic
economy. Czechoslovakia is one of the most industralized and
affluent countr.ies in Eastern Europe; per capita gross national
product (GNP) in 1979 was $5,040 and, after the German Demo
cratic RepUblic (GDR), was the highest in the region. Agricul
ture contributed 10.5 percent of national income in 1980, and
in the seventies, the share of total investment in this sector
hovered around 10 percent. Both shares are quite low for
Eastern Europe. Only 10.3 percent of the labor force engages
in ~griculture. In 1980, agricultural goods accounted for
16.2 percent of the value of all imports and only 8.8 percent
of all exports--again, among the lowest shares in the region.
Agriculture in Czechoslovakia is highly diversified. Wheat,
barley, corn, oats, rye, rapeseed, potatoes, sugar beets, and
hops are the main crops. The major growing areas are in
southwestern and eastern Slovakia and in southern and western
Although 94 percent of arable land is held in socialized owner
ship (state and collective farms), private production supplies
significant fruit, vegetable, and livestock-product output.
The private sector has recently emerged from a period of eclipse
as the Government seeks to increas~ production without recourse
to extensive investment in the collective and state sectors.
The main agricultural goals of the Czechoslovak Government
in the seventh Five Year Plan (1981-85) are self-sufficiency
in grain production (average annual grain imports in 1976-80
equaled 1.68 million metric tons), increased forage produc
tion, and a shift in meat production from grain-intensive
pork and poultry to beef snd mutton produ~tion.
Crops currently account for approximately 42 percent of the
value of agricultural output, with livestock accounting for
the remaining 58 percent. This distribution should change in
favor of crops as authorities stress expanded crop over live
stock production in 1981-85.
Annual livestock inventories for all animals rose from 1971 to
1980, but no growth trend was evident. Pork production accounts
for 56 percent of all meat output, and historically, pork has
been the major meat in the Czechoslovak diet. In recent years,
the press has carried reports of poorly balanced livestock
feed rations that contain too much grain and not enough forage.
This Situation haa reportedly led to weight gain problems,
especially in cattle, and is decried as wasteful in view of
the need to reduce grain imports by utilizing domestic forage
supplies more fully.
Czechoslovakia depends heavily on foreign trade. In 1980,
total trade accounted for 36 percent of GNP, three times the
share for the United States. Finished industrial commodities
and raw materials make up the bulk of traded goods~ Socialist
countries are the primary suppliers of Czechoslovak imports of
fruits and vegetables, cot ton, and meat. Western nations
supply the bulk of vegetable oil and fat, coffee, tea, cocoa,
feed-grain and protein meal impoTts.
.,.=,~<,_ _ _"""",,,,,,........,_,=,.Dt~
A Survey of Czechoslovakia's Agriculture
By Robert Cummings
U.S. trade with Czechoslovakia has been handicapped by several political and economic factors. Chief among these has been the inability of the two nations to reach agreement on the finan cial claims disputes following World War II--both those of U.s. citizens arising from ~ationalizations carried out by the Govern ment of Czechoslovakia and those of Czechoslovakia regarding Czechoslovak gold seized after the war. On December 29, 1981, the President signed legislation allowing return of the gold in exchange for a mutually agreed Czechoslovak settlement of U.S. claims, thus removing an important barrier to U.S.-Czechoslovak economic relations.
u.s. agricultural exports account for aln·~st three-fourths of all U.S.-Czechoslovak trade. To maintain or expand this share into the eighties, U.S. exporters will face institutional prob lems within Czechoslovakia--a shortage of foreign exchange, plans to reduce reliance on costly imports, and a general slow down in economic growth. U.S. producers of key commodities will find it tougher to penetrate the Czechoslovak market as authorities strive to import as much of Czechoslovakia'S grain and oilseed requirements as possible from other East European countries before turning to Western supplies. ;.
This report updates the U.S. Department of Agriculture's firBt
Survey of Czechoslovak Agriculture issued in 1962. As the
United States does not maintain a permanent agricultural attache
in Prague, reports such as this one provide U.S. farmers and
business people with basic economic information on which to
assess agricultural marketing activities in that country.
Czechoslovakia, a nation i~ central Eastern Europe, is bordered by the German Democratic Republic (GDR), the Federal Republic of Germany (FP~), Poland, the Soviet Union, Hungary, and Austria. Total land area is 12.8 million hectares--about the size of New York State--41 percent of which is arable. The country is made up of two constituent republics: Slovakia in the east and the Czech lands of Bohemia and Moravia in the west. !;
Population in 1981 was 15.3 million people--68 percent of
whom live in Bohemia and Moravia and 32 percent in Slovakia.
The rate of annual population growth has been declining since ~
1973 and was just under 0.03 percent in 1981. Czechoslovakia's
population growth rate, although low, was still above the rate
for Eastern Eu~ope as a whole.
Gross national product (GNP) converted at U.S. purchasing power f~
equivalents was $76.6 billion in 1979 (current dollars), ranklngJ.
behind Poland, the GDR, and Romania. However, on a per capita m
basis, Czechoslovakia at $5,040 in 1979 ~as only slightly be- ft
hind the GDR (which has the highest per capita GNP in Eastern '
Europe) and about 11 percent below the per capita GNP for
Italy (table 1).
The topography is varied with mountain ranges interspersed
with plateaus and lowlands. Soil types range from mountainous "
stony soils to peat and saline soils in the lowlands. Thus,
Czechoslovak agriculture is highly diversified with grain, oil
seeds, fruits, vegetables, tobacco, sugar beets, hops, and flax
cultivated. Farming' takes place principally on the forest
soils of the Bohemian plateau of western Czechoslovakia,
where annual rainfall averages between 20 and 25 inches, and
in the slightly more humid plains of southern and eastern
Slovakia. Most meadow and pasture lands are located in central
and northeastern Slovakia. The climate is temperate.
In 1980, agriculture contributed 10.5 percent to national in come, one of the lowest shares in Eastern Europe (table 2). Since 1960, agriculture's contribution to national income has declined by a third, from 15.3 percent to the current level. This low share is not surprising as Czechoslovakia is one of . the most industrialized countries in Eastern Europe. The
agricultural production growth rate is among the slowest in
Ea~tern Europe (an average annual rate of 1.9 percent in the
seventies). Under the 1981-85 Five Year Plan, agricultural
output is planned to increase 10 percent over the preceding
Table l--Czechoslovakia: Gross national product (GNP),
per capita, selected years, 1965-79
Source: Handbook of Economic Statistics, National Foreign
Assessment Center, Central Intelligence Agency, 1979,.
Table 2--Czechoslovakia: Agriculture's share of major economic indicators, 1980 Indicator
. Nat iona1 income
Statistika Rocenka CSR, 1981, and other official data.
About 10.3 percent of the full-time labor force was employed in
agriculture in 1980 (897,567 individuals), down from 16.8 per
cent in 1970. Agricultural commodities accounted for 16.2
percent of the value of imports, but only 8.8 percent of ex
ports in 1980--one of the lowest shares in Eastern Europe.
Agriculture's share of total investment during the seventies
ranged from 9.9 percent in 1970 and 1971 to 11.5 percent in
ORGANIZATION In 1980, 94 percent of the agricultural land in Czechoslovakia
was held in socialized own~ship, one of the highest rates in
Eastern Europe. Collective farms held about 63 percent of
agricultural land, of Which only 2.4 percent was in household
plots; state farms held 31 percent. The share of state farm
holdings of agricultural land has remained constant since
1970 and that of collective farms has increased from 55.7
percent, whereas the share in private plots on collective
farms has fallen from 7.3 percent. Private agriculture's
share of agricultural land holdings (excluding private plots)
has fallen since 1970, When it was 10 percent of all such
land. Table 3 shows the share of the major agricultural inputs
in the socialized sector.
Private agriculture plays a small, but important, role in agri
culture. As most private farms are concentrated in the moun
tains ~ere large collective farms are impractical, the emphasis
there is on livestock husbandry. Thus, a significant percentage
of Czechoslovakia's milk, pork, and eggs 1s produced on private
farms. Approximately 40 percent and 70 percent of total veg
etable and f:.,:,uit production, respectively, come from private
agriculture a~d private plot production. 1/ Private plot
size is limitea to 0.25-1.0 hectare depending on geographic
1/ Report to the 16th Congress of the CzeChoslovak Communist Party (CPCZ) delivered by Premier L. Strougal as reported by the Prague Domestic Service, Apr. 17, 1980. 3
Agricultural inputs in the
excluding private plots
N.A. - Not applicable.
Statisticka Rocenka CSR, 1981.
region and size of the farmer's family. 2/ Table 4 compares
socialized- and private-sector production of selected agricul
POLICY All sectors of the economy are centrally planned and are
administered according to guidelines provided by 5-year
plans, currently by the seventh Five Year Plan, 1981-85. In
agriculture, central authorities set production targets for
all crops, livestock, and livestock products plus producer
prices and, for most foodstuffs, consumer prices. Agricultural
Table 4--Czechoslovakia: Socialized- and private-sector shares
of agricultural output, 1980
Private farm and private
96.3 80.0 )j72.9
Including output from private plots.
2/ Output from private farms only.
Statisticka Rocenka CSR, 1981.
2/ "Czechoslovak Situation Report/149," 'Radio Free Europe
Research Bulletin, Dec. 17, 1975.
policy is determined at the central level and, since 1979, the
authority of the agricultural ministry and midlevel managers
in day-to-day agricultural affairs has increased at the expense
of that of local agricultural officials.
Authorities have recently modified their support for a major
agricultural policy dur1.ng the seventies which committed the
Government to an improved national diet based on increased avail
ability of livest~ck products. This policy necessitated raising
imports of livestock feed which have become an increasing burden
on the economy. As a result, the Government's most important ag
ricultural goals for the eighties are to make Czechoslovakia aelf
sufficient in grain production and to limit the growth rate of
livestock product COM'·~!Ilption. In line with this policy, crop
production is planned to increase faster than animal husbandry
Because of tight labor supplies and insufficient
investment funds, the Government counts on more intensive
and efficient use of agricultural resources to increaoe produc
tion. Policies of reducing subsidies to state farms, r.aising
living standards in the agricultural sector, incr~asing producer
prices, and expanding intra-enterprise cost accounting (khozras
chet) are expected to improve agricultural efficiency and to
make farming more attractive to the rural labor force.
The increasing emphasis since the midseveD.t1es on achieving
self-sufficiency in livestock feed and grain production has led
to important administrative and organizational changes. To
increase agricultural production, the Government began a cam
paign in the midseventies for the formation of large, centrally
directed agro-industrial enterprises combining agricultural
producing and processing enterprises. These agro-industrial
enterprises were to lead to production specialization allotting
for increased efficiency and higher technical levels of produc
tion. 3/ As a result of this policy, the size of collective
and state farms has increased while their number has fallen
The campaign for agro-industrial enterprises was combined with
efforts to further reduce the economic importance of private
farmers and of collective members and state farm employees
working on their private plots. All resources in the agricul
tural sector, public and private, were to be funneled into the
In line with its policy of agricultural consolidation, the
Government adopted a new collective farm statute in 1976.
This statute inc!eased the authority of farm management vis
a-vis collective members over the use and disposition of col
lective lands. Furthermore, the authority of the agriculture
ministry and of midlevel agricultural managers in overseeing
day-to-day agricultural affairs was strengthened in 1979. Both
these administrative acts were Government efforts to: (1)
smooth the way for agro-industrial consolidation by restricting
Tribuna, Number 47, Prague, Nov. 23, 1977.
Table 5--Czechoslovakia: NU1Iber of farms, by type and average
sizes, 1975 and :~80
Type of farm
-- Hectares -5,684.00
the authority of collective farmers and (2) strengthen central
control over the larger agricultural producing and processing
However, severe problems with the agro-industrial system of
organization became evident in the late seventies. Hoped for
increases in production did not occur and central management
of agriculture raised neither efficiency nor the technical
level of production appreciably. The current policy emphasis
is on consolidating the organization and management of existing
agro-industrial enterprises rather than on increasing their
size or number.
This shift in organizational policy was accompanied by a re
emphasis of private agriculture as a means to increase produc
tion, especially of livestock and livestock products. For
example, although the Government still officially plans to
increase meet supplies primarily through large-scale industrial
livestock farms, agricultural authorities have found it neces
sary to allow state enterprises to contract with individual
farmers for cattle and hog raising to increase meat production
in the quickest, least expensive manner.
A continued slowdown in the agro-industrial movement is almost
certain, given investment constraints and the sloweconomlc
growth foreseen through the atdeighties.
The Government continues to fix most producer prices in agricul
ture. However, since 1967, compulsory sales quotas for private
farmers and collective and stata farms have been replaced by
contract buying between farms and purchasing enterprises or pro
curement agencies • Produce r prices fo r 11ves to ck feed, ca t tIe,
sheep, and livestock products were increased on January 1, 1981,
to improve the profitability and, ultimately, the supply of
these products. However, the extent to which higher producer
prices will lead to increased output in livestock products
-----------' --- --
depends largely on the level of investment necessary to expand
and further modernize this sector. Producer price Changes
alone will not lead to significantly increased livestock
product output. Nevertheless, higher prices for livestock
producers should improve the financial situation of farm. in
mountainous regions that specialize in livestock production.
These farms traditionally have had poor profit margins relative
to other farcs in Czechoslovakia. !!l
On January 1, 1981, the price of mineral fertilizers was in
creased. This price increase was made necessary by continuously
risj.ng costs of production and was designed to reduce state
subSidies for ~ineral fertilizer production and to ~hift demand
to organic fett~lizers such as manure.
As do all East European governments, the Czechoslovs.k Govero
ment subsidizes retail prices of staple foods. The CzeChoslovak
press has reported that for every 100 crowns (Kcs) of food pro
duced in 1981, state subsidies to producers and/or consumers
equaled 40 Kcs (U.S.$1 • 5.3 Kcs), up from 25 Kcs in 1978. 5/
It is estimated that total retail price subsidies in 1981
will equal 14.6 billion Kcs. OVer 80 percent of these SUb9id
ies will go toward stabilizing consumer prices for milk, Cheese,
meat, po~ltry, and fish. !/
However, escalating retail price subsidies caused the Govern
ment in early 1982 to increase retail prices for most meats by
an average 27 percent and for other foods from 18 percent to
100 percent. This increase affected the price of high-quality
meat cuts the most and was the first general increase in meat
prices since 1954. Although compensation will be provided to
those with lower incomes, the predominant effect will be to
shift a significant part of the cost of meat consumption to
consumers and away from the state.
Crops currently ac~ount for about 42 percent of the value of
gross agricultural production, and live$tock's share accounts
for 58 percent of gross production. These shares have remained
constant over recent years.
In 1980, grain occupied about 50 percent of arable land, of
which 23 percent was wheat and 18 percent was barley. Grain
production at 10.7 million metric tons (mmt) was close to the
record 1978 level of 10.9 mmt and was 14 percent above the
1971-75 ~verage. Grain area has remained stable, ranging
between 2.67 million hectares in 1971 and 2.63 million hec
tares in 1980 (table 6).
While total grain area has remained stable in recent years,
corn and barley area has increosed, oat area has decreased.
4/ Hospodarske Noviny, Prague, Sept. 21, 1979.
5/ Rude Pravo, Prague, Jan. 27, 1982.
6/ Hospodarske Nov!ny, Prague, Jen. 9, 1981.
--- --- --- ---..
Crop area, yield , and produ ction, 1971-75 avera ge and 1980
Ca.m dity 1971-75
HHI-7 5 aver..ge
1,000 hecta res -Total grain
-- Tons/ hecta re --
. , 1980
1,000 metri c tons --
Stati stick a Rocenka CSR, 1981.
and wheat and rye area has remained const ant. Between 1972
and 1980, the area in corn, an impor tant lives tock feed,
increa sed 30 perceo.t to 192,0 00 hecta res, while barle y area
rose 22 perce nt to 921,0 00 hecta res. In the same perio d,
oat area decre ased 52 perce nt to 139,000 hecta res.
Fluct uatin g grain yield s contr ast with the overa ll
figure s of recen t years . Total grain yield varie d
i\;.:~e seven ties, frOll\ 2.76 tons/h ectare in 1970
Weather accou nts for these fluctu ation s.
yield over 1970-79 was 3.4 tons/ hecta re.
stabl e area
great ly in
The avera ge
Both potato produ ction and area declin ed ,stead ily in the seven
ties. Produ ction in 1980 was 2.7 mat from 199,0 00 hecta res,
the worst in many years , and resul ted from unfav orable weath
Average produ ction (3.7 lImt) and area (223,0 00 hecta res) in er.
1976-80 were 19 and 25 pe~cent, respe ctive ly, below avera ge
produ ction and area in 1971-75.
Although harve sted B.rea of sugaz beets , the most impor tant
dustr ial crop in Cz·!ch oslova kia, rose stead ily in the seven
(218,0 00 hecta res in 1980, up from 178,2 00 hecta res in 1970)ties
outpu t has varie d over the perio d, again becau se of weath er.
Produ ction in 1980 at 7.3 mmt was 9.2 perce nt highe r than
1970. Sugar beets are curre ntly sown on 4 perce nt of the in
arabl e land.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ •._ _
. . ___ _____,.__
Rapeseed is the major oilseed grown in Czechoslovakia. Harvest
ed area increased steadily in the seventies, except in 1974 and
1979, resulting in rising annual production. In 1980, rapeseed
area of 91,000 hectares was 75 percent higher than in 1970, and
production at 214,000 mmt was 240 percent higher than in 1970.
Fi.uit and vegetable production fluctuated throughout the
sbventies, but has shown no real growth. Vegetable production
in 1980 (755,900 at) was 17 percent below that in 1970. Fruit
production in 1980 (including grapes) was 660,000 mt, slightly
above 1970 production. Within Eastern Europe, Czechoslovakia
has one of the lowest per capita consumption levels of fruits
and vegetables. Although this low level of consumption is un
usual for a country with Czechoslovakia's level of development,
consumer demand appears low, and the Government has no plana to
significantly increase the production of fruits and vegetables
in the foreseeable future.
Livestock inventories for all animals except sheep and horses
were up between 1971 and 1981, although annual figures show no
evident pattern of year-to-year increases (table 7). Cattle
a~d hog numbers increased 16.7 and 42.7 percent, respectively,
over the period, close to the average for Eastern Europe.
Poultry numbers were up 20.7 percent, again, close to the
In 1980, pork accounted for 51 percent of total meat production.
Beef and veal's contribution to total meat production dropped
from 38 percent in 1975 to 35 percent in 1980 (table 8). Milk
production has increaled slightly since 1974 (from 5.46 mat to
5.9 mat in 1980).
In recent years, the Government has stressed increased beef pro
duction at the expense of pork to lessen demand for imported
corn and protein feeds. Howeve~, this policy hal not yet suc
ceeded as pork continues to be the dominant meat in the country.
Table 7--Czechos10vakia: Livestock numbers a8 of January 1, 1971-75 average and 1981 Type 1971-75 average
1981 1,000 head
Statisticka Rocenka CSR, 1981, and other official
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ~_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Table 8--Czechos1ovakia: Livestock product production, 1971-75
average and 1980
1971-75 average 1980
1,000 metric tons
data. Statisticka Rocenka CSR, 1981, and other official Increased domestic production of cattle feeds is intended to lead to larger beef supplies through more nutritionally bal anced feeding and through slightly larger cattle inventories. The official outlook for both the crop and livestock sectors in
the period to 1985 is for steady, although slow, increases in
output. Crop production will increase faster than livestock
production. Output growth in the agricultural sector will be
constrained by little planned growth in agricultural investment,
by labor shortages plus machine availability problems, and by
a declining supply of agricultural land.
As in most countries of Eastern Europe, agricultural labor in
Czechoslovakia is scarce relative to other inputs. Therefore,
any increases in production will have to come from a combina
tion of labor productivity improvements, higher capital inputs,
and higher yielding plant varieties and livestock typ~s.
Labor is in extremely short supply throughout Czechoslovakia.
Thus, agriculture competes with every other sector in the econ
omy for workers. The size of the agricultural labor force has
been declining. It numbered approximately 898,000 people in
1980, 9 percent below the 1974 figure and 34 percent below the
level in 1960. This labor force loss has affected private
agriculture most. In 1960, 18.9 percent of the agricultural
labor force was engaged primarily in private agriculture.
This figure dropped tQ 6 percent in 1974 and to 1.6 percent
farms has re
Altho ugh the absol ute number of worke rs on state
in the total
mained basic ally uncha
agric ultu.r al labor force
cent. In the colle
fallen 26.5 perce
in the total agric ultur e labor force incre ased from 64.7
cent in 1960 to 71.8 perce nt in 1980. Wtth the recen t halt
in the farm conso lidati on campaign and the alread y low share
of priva te farme rs in the agric ultur al labor force , little
change will occur in the distri butio n of the agric ultur al
labor force in the near futur e.
Altho ugh the suppl y of the agric ultur al labor force has declln
over the years , this force is relati vely young
by East Europ ean stand ards. Of the agric ultur al
perce nt were under 40 years of age in 1980,
in 1975 and from 35 perce nt in 1970. The relati ve youth y
these worke rs is the resul t of a conce rted
to raise the level of farm income to that of urban , indus e
incom e. In 1973, for the first time, colle
(inclu ding income in kind, r~ached parity with urban , indus
incom e. However, the income growth rate
secto r was the lowes t of all secto rs in 1978 and 1979.
Use of miner al fertil izers rose from 305 kilog rams/ hecta re
arabl e land in 1975 to 340 kilog rams/
with the GDR, Czech oslov akia had the highe st appli catio n led
in Easte rn Europ e. 7/ This high
to repor ts of incre asing groun d-wat er pollu tion in the count
None theles s, the Government plans to incre ase ferti lizer
cation rates throu gh 1990,
tion techn iques and added use
lizer s. More effic ient appli
handl ed and applie d liquid ferti lizer s, and increa sed produ
tion of compound and conce
nal benef its of increa sed
~ive, are cruci al to raisin g the margi
ferti lizer use.
In 1980, there was one tracto r for every 38 hecta res of arabl
land. The trend in agric
slova kia, as throug hout Easte rn Europ e, has been toward high
powered, speci alized equipment to reduc e fuel consu mptio n
incre ase effici ency. For
ies to agric ultur e are expec
sever al years as more and more obsol ete tracto rs are replac
by truck s. Table 9 summ
agric ultur e.
The avera ge daily calor ic intak e in Czech oslov akia reach ed
calor ies in the midsi xties
late seven ties. Per capit
7/ Agric ultura l Situa tion: Easte rn Europ e, Review of 1980
and OUtlook for 1981. Economics and Stati stics Servi ce,
Department of Agric ulture
Table 9--Cz echos lovak ia:
Arabl e land
Arabl e land per worker
Tract ors (at year end)
Arabl e land per tracto r
Ferti lizer consumption
Ferti lizer consumption per
hecta re of arabl e land
Agric ultura l input s, 1970, 1975, and 1980
1,000 h"'cta res
1,000 mt activ e
Stati stick a Rocenka eSR, 1981.
edibl e offal ) of 84 kilogr ams in 1980 (up from 73.7 kilogr ams
in 1971) was the second highe st in Easte rn Europe after the
GDR. Pork makes up appro ximat ely 52 perce nt of per capit a
meat consumption, with beef consumption accou nting for 30
perce nt, poult ry meat accou nting for 13 perce nt, and veal and
mutto n making up the remai nder.
Grain consumption has dropped 4 perce nt since 1971, and annua
per capit a egg consumption (311 eggs) .in 1979 was 9 perce nt l
highe r than in 1971. Even with increa sed wages and stabl e
price s, consumption of fruits and veget ables increa sed
sligh tly in the seven ties, the likely resul t of stagn antonly
plies and low consumer prefe rence for these foods .
Plans call for per capit a meat consumption to incre ase to 92
kilogr ams in 1985 and to 94 kilogr ams in 1990. Milk and egg
consumption 1s slated to rise sligh tly throug h 1990 whereas
sugar and potato consumption 1s to declin e. However, succe
ful imple menta tion of these plans , espec ially that for increa
meat consu mptio n, is highl y probl emati cal becau se of the tightsed
inves tment and impor t const raints and the high costs
stock produ ction that Czech oslov akia will face in the ofeight
In 1980, the avera ge share of dispo sable income spent for food
per household range d from 27.0 perce nt for indus trial worke
26 perce nt for coope rative farme rs and 24.4 perce nt for profe
siona ls (tabl e 10). The share of income spent on food has
declin ing in recen t years as inc~s have risen , but food
price s (othe r than those of impor ted foods and luxur ies,
as chOCOlate) have remained stabl e because of state subsisuch
Czech oslov akia depends heavi ly on foreig n trade . In 1980,
total trade was $30.5 billio n, $15.1 billio n in expor ts and
$15.4 billio n in impor ts, based on the offic ial trade con
versio n rate of July 1980 of $1 - 5.30 Kcs. Total trade
accou nted for appro ximat ely 36 perce nt of GNP in 1980,
Table 10--C zecho slova kia: Per capit a dispo sable income spent
on food" 1969 and 1980
Type of worke r
Colle ctive farme r
Indus trial worke r
Profe ssion al worker
Stati stick a Rocenka CSR, 1981.
sligh tly more than three times the share for the Unite d
State s. The bulk of both impor ts and expor ts is made up for
of finish ed indus trial commodities and of raw mater ials
Czech oslov akia is a member of the Counc il for Mutual Econo of
Assis tance (CHEA), the
East European count ries (exce pt Yugo slavia ), the Sovie t Union
Cuba, Mong olia, and Vietnam. Trade is regul ated with prefe
ence given to CMEA members, and most intra-CMEA trade isunder
eral. Since the midse ventie s, Czech oslova kia has been
press ure to incre ase lexports to both hard- curre ncy and CMEA
coun tries. Even thouS,eh the Sovie t Union suppl ies most of
Czech oslov akia's petr~leum impor t needs at below world pricege
these price s are never theles s based on a 5-yea r movin
of marke t price s and have risen with the world price . Annu
incre asing expor ts to the Sovie t Union are requi red
for these impor ts. The Government has also· stress ed incre
hard- curre ncy expor ts to reduc e the need for hard- curre
borrow ing conne cted with agric ultur al and high- techn ology
produ ct impor ts.
Czech oslov akia has engaged in hard- curre ncy borro wing tries,
Euroc urrenc y marke ts as have other East Europ
it has one of the lowes t hard- curre ncy debt
Europe--:-an estim ated $3 billio n accum ulated by 1980. The
servi ce ratio is estim ated at betwe en 22-26
curren cy expor t earni ngs.
Despi te calls for increa sed trade with the West, sligh tly
70 perce nt of all trade in 1980 was with
of the highe st rates in Easte rn Europ
was with the West and 56 perce nt
Community. Socia list count ries accou nted for 70 perce nt of
Czech oslova k impor ts, and they receiv ed 70 perce nt of all 1980.
expor ts. Table 11 lists the 10 major tradin g partn ers for
"'!!!.!IIl!_ - - - - - - - - •••- - - - . -
. - ......
--~ ... -.~--'-.~---. ---•..!.
Tab le ll-- Cz ech oal ova kia :
Co unt ry
Ten ma jor tra din g par tne rs, 198
Tur nov er )j
Ex por ts
Im por ts
-- Mi llio n do lla rs
Sha re of
tur nov er
Per cen t
Al l cou ntr ies
30, 510 .0
15, 125 .1
15, 384 .9
So vie t Union
tic Rep ubl ic
Fed era l Re pub lic
Yu gcs lav ia
Au str ia
Bu lga ria
Un ited Kingdom
10, 966 .8
5,4 22. 6
5,5 44. 2
3,0 18. 5
2,3 04. 9
1,4 10. 6
1,1 37. 0
1,6 07. 9
1,1 67. 9
1,8 10. 6
1,6 82. 4
1,0 89. 6
1/ Crown-denominated tra de fig
ure s con ver ted to u.S . do lla
at- the off ici al Cze cho slo vak
cro wn -do llar rat e for for eig n rs
tra de as of Jun e 1980 (5. 30 Kc
s. • U.S .$I ).
Sou rce : Sta tis tic ke Pre hle dy,
Number 8, 1981.
As the cou ntr y ent ers the sev
ent h Fiv e Year Pla n, pre lim ina
ind ica tio ns are tha t Cze cho
slo vak off ici als hav e ree val uat
the ben efi ts to be obt ain ed fro
of dis app oin tin g exp ort exp eri m tra de wit h the West in lig ht
enc es wit h the se cou ntr ies and
sev ere har d-c urr enc y sho rta ges
sob er eva lua tio n of exp ort pro fac ing Cz ech osl ova kia . A more
alo ng wit h Cz ech osl ova kia 's renspe cts in the West is lik ely
as pos sib le its imp ort req uir ewed eff ort s to meet as ful ly
from oth er non con ver tib le curem ent s from wit hin the CMRA and
ren cy cou ntr ies .
Ag ric ult ura l pro duc ts acc oun
in 198 0, compared wit h 8 per cen for 8.8 per cen t of tot al exp ort s
and ·food com mo diti es acc oun ted t in 1975. In 198 0, agr icu ltfi ral
im por ts, the lar ge st peI 'cen tag for 16. 2 per cen t of Cze cho slo vak
e in Ea ste rn Eu rop e.
Cz ech osl ova kia 's ag ric ult ura l
pro duc ts, meat and meat prc ducexp ort s con sis t lar gel y of bre we ry
(ta ble 12 ). Gr ain , oil me al, ts, sug ar, and ma lt pro duc ts
cot ton , veg eta ble oil s, meat
meat pro duc ts. fru it, and cof
are the lea din g agr icu ltu ral
imp ort s (ta ble s 13 and 14) .
--- --- ,._ --- ' .. _--.-----
Major agricultural exports, 1976-80
1 2 °00 metric tons
Meat and other
1 2000 hectoliters
Source: Statisticka Rocenka CSR and FAO Trade Yearbook,
Table 13--Czechoslovakia: Major agricultural import a , 1976-80
11°00 metric tons
Soybeans and sun
Livestock and live
Fruits and vege
Coffee, tea, and
Statisticka Rocenka CSR, various editions.
Czechoslovakia traditionally runs deficits on its agricultural
trade balance, as might be expected in a sull, }lighly indus
trialized nation. This deficit in 1980 was approximately $1.5
billion, 6 percent below the record deficit of 1919. In the
seventies, the deficit fluctuated from year to year. Its
magnitude in any given year depended primarily on harvest
quality and on size in the preceding year.
._......---_ _ ___.___ _
__......._'*'___""-':ptIC;:h4_""""''''''''''''''''''''__ ___ ___ __ Table 14--C zecho slovak ia: Sourc e of selec ted agric ultur al impor
ts by major
major supp~ersJ 1976-80
conce ntrate s
Argen tina Austr ia
Unite d State s
Sovie t Union
Perce ntage of
total impor ts
1/ 100 i.
-- • Not repor ted, zero, or insig nific ant.
1/ 1979 only. 2/ 1980 only.
3! 1976-79 only.
4/ 1977-80 only. Sourc e:
Stati stick a Rocenka CSR, 1980 and 1981.
U.S.-C zecho slovak trade is small , only $164.2 millio n in
53.8 perce nt below the 1980 l~vel. The Unite d State s bas 1981,
toric ally run subst antia l trade surpl uses with Czech oslov his akia,
but 1981' s surpl us, $29.9 millio n, was 82.4 perce nt below
1980 surpl us. This declin e repre sents much small er CZE~(:
agric ultur al impor ts due to good 1980 agric ultur al perfor mance
and a very string ent anti-i mpor t polic y throug hout the econom
Altho ugh Czech oslov akia is a chart er m,ember of the Gener
Agreement on Tarif fs and Trade (GATT), the Unite d State s al
grante d it most- favor ed-na tion (MFN) tarif f treatm ent since
As an addit ional requir ement under Title IV of the Trade
1974, Czech oslov akia was inelig ible for MFN treatm ent unles of
settle ment was reach ed regar ding the claim s U.S. citizE!OS
natio nals have again st it as a resul t of natio naliz ation s
the late fortie s. Such an agreem ent was reach ed in 1901
appropriate section of the Trade Act was amended, thereby remov
ing an important barrier to improved economic relations.
As in the past, u.s. exports of agricultural commodities domina
ted U.S.-Czechoslovak trade in 1981. U.S. exports of $97.2 mil
lion made up 59 percent of total trade between the two coun
75 percent of these exports were agricultural commodities
The bulk of U.S. agricu.lL .... -1 exports to Czechoslovakia consists
of feed grains (mostly corn), sOJ_ -~ cake and meal, wheat, and
cattlehides. The first two commodities are utilized almost
exclusively as feed in the livesto~k s~ctor. Thus, import
demand for these commodities is directly related to the quality
and level of grain and oilseed harvests in CzechQ~lovak1a and
to planned output growth rates in the livestock sector. U.S.
agricultural exports in 1981 ($73 million) were 64.4 percent
below the preceding year because little growth in the Czecho
slovak livestock sector, a near-record grain harvest, and a
good oilseed harvest in 1980 had reduced the need for livestock
Agricultural trade with the United
States, including transshipments,
U.S. agricultural exports
Animals and animal products
U.S. agricultural imports
Source: Statisticka Rocenka CSR, various editions; U.S. trade
data from Export Sales, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign
Agricultural Service, various issues; and official statistics of
the U.s. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.
The United States supplies over two-thirds of Czechoslovak corn
imports and holds significant market shares in other grain,
oilseed, and oilmeal imports. However, the United States faces
stiff competition from Brazil, for example, in the oilmeal mar
ket where the Brazilian market share has risen at the expense
of the United States since the midseventies. Lower buying
costs in Brazil account for this change. As Czechoslovak con
cern over imports heightens, U.S. exporters will face rising
price and credit com~tition from other suppliers.
National plans for self-sufficiency in grain production,
hard-currency slwrtages, and little planned growth in output
in the livestock sector in the current 1981-85 Five Year Plan
indicate stagnating or declining U.S. grain exports to Czecho
slovakia. However, domestic oilseed and oilseed meal produc
tion will remain well short of Czechoslovak requirements, and
imports of these commodities will probably increase through
1985. Any overall increase in the value of U.S. agricultural
exports to Czechloslovakia will depend on commodi ty price in
creases and poor harvestn rather than on any real increase in
Czechoslovak de~!nd for U.S. agricultural exports.
Although U.S. exports to Czechoslovakia are dominated ~y agri
cultural commodities, U.S. imports are not. In 1981 , 82 percent
of the value of U.S. imports from Czechoslovakia wer~ manufac
tured goods, similar to the percentage of previous years; the
value of these imports was $67.2 million in 1981, 35 percent
above the 1980 level.
Agricultural imports from Czechoslovakia were valued at $12.1
million in 1981, 16 percent above the previous year's level.
Processed meats (primarily canned hams) and hops made up t!,
bulk of U.S. imports. A rise in both the quantity and trL-~
unit price of U.S. imports of hops accounted for this increase
in U.S. agricultural imports.
U.S. agricultural imports from Czechoslovakia through 1985
should romain stable .sa U.S. demand for these imports has shown
little rf~al growth historically and the prospect for such growth
is nil. Any increase in the value of these imports will most
likely come about as a result of unit-price increases.
(1) British Broadcasting Company (BBC),. Sumary of World Broad
caats, (Ea_tern Europe). Weekly Economic ..porte. "adiQl,
England, various issues.
(2) Economic Commission for Europe (ECE).
(3) Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS). Daily Report
(4) Holesovsky, Vaclav. "Czechoslovak Economy in the S6!Vent138,"
in East European Economies Post Helsinki. Waehington, D.C.:
U.S. Govt. Printing Office, 1977.
(5) Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD). Various publications.
(6) Radio Free Europe.
(7) Radio Free Eur,ope Reaearch Bulletin.
Stat~i Urad Stati8ticky, Cesko-slovenske Socialisticke Re
publicky, SNTL. Statisticka Rocenka CSR. Prague, varioue
(8) Translations of articles from Czechoslovak newspapere and
periodicals, especially Rude Pravo t Zemedelake Noviny,
Hospodarske Noviny, Tribuna, and Ekonomika Polnohoepadaretva.
__" . ,
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