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Agriculture – Basic Information and Legislation

General Information

Farmland accounts for more than half of the Moravian-Silesian Region. The soil cover consists mainly of clay and loam soils. Brown earth is the predominant soil type. Argillaceous, gluey soils are located along the Odra River and its tributaries. Foothill and mountain areas are forested mostly with spruce stands, which are complemented by deciduous trees, especially beech. The unique vegetation of floodplain forests is found along the banks of the Odra. Land suitable for agriculture is mainly located in the north. The land in the Ostrava Basin, however, has been degraded by industrial activities.

Despite the industrial character of the region, agriculture, food and forestry production are well represented. The most fertile areas suitable for intensive production are located in the districts of Opava and Nový Jičín and at Osoblaha Hook in Bruntál district, where sugar beets, wheat, malting barley, seed maize, oilseeds, vegetables and perennial fodder crops are grown. In animal production, dairy cows are predominately bred with limited breeding of pigs and poultry. Organic farming is practised in less favored areas (LFA) and focuses primarily on maintaining pasture for cattle to graze and also for sheep on a limited basis.

The Region’s soil fertility is classified as follows:

  • Very fertile: brown soil
  • Moderately fertile: clayey soil
  • Less fertile: brown soil and podzols (most of the Region).

Agricultural production in the Moravian-Silesian Region is primarily composed of sugar beets, potatoes and mountain farming. The diversity of these areas is due by the different terrain.

There is virtually no maize production in the region. Roughly half of the agricultural land – 50.5% is given to growing potatoes, while sugar beets are grown in 29% of this land, mostly that classified R3, and 20% is for mountain farming.

With its 0.22 hectares of agricultural land per capita, the region is well below the level found in the nation as a whole (0.42 hectares per capita). This is due both to low agricultural acreage in the districts of Ostrava and Karviná and the high population density of those districts. An even bigger difference from the national average can be seen in arable land per capita, which is 0.14 hectares per inhabitant. In addition to the reasons earlier stated, this is caused by the higher percentage of grassland in the districts of Bruntál and Frýdek-Místek. For comparison, the percentage in the EU for 2000 (EU-15) was 0.37 hectares of agricultural and 0.20 hectares of arable land
per capita.

The region has roughly 2 hectares fewer of agricultural land (arable land) per agricultural worker than the national average.

A big difference in land use can be seen in individual districts under municipalities with extended competence. The MECs below have the highest percentage of agricultural land: Kravaře (79.1%), Bílovec (72.1%) and Nový Jičín (68. 5%). Half of the region’s territory has less than 50% agricultural soil within its MECs. The largest hectare counts in absolute terms belong to large MEC districts: Krnov, Bruntál and Frýdek-Místek.

Highest percentages of arable land:

  •  Districts with over 80%: Kravaře, Opava, Hlučín
  • Over 70%: Odry, Bílovec, Nový Jičín, Bohumín, Vítkov, Kopřivnice and Karviná

Highest percentages of permanent grassland - over 60%: Rýmařov (83.3%), Jablunkov and Frýdlant.

Highest percentages of forested land:

  • Frýdlant (70.9%)
  • Jablunkov (59%)
  • Rýmařov (49.4%)

Districts with the most forested land in absolute terms: Bruntál, Krnov and Frýdlant.

The Moravian-Silesian Region has 167,433 hectares of 1st and 2nd class protected land. These soils should have the strongest protection from appropriation.

1st Class Agricultural Land 77,182.37 hectares

2nd Class Agricultural Land 90, 250.40 hectares

Legislation and Competences

Protection of agricultural land is governed by Act 334/1992 Coll., on protection of agricultural land, as amended (Agricultural Land Protection Act) and Decree 13/1994 Coll., regulating certain details of agricultural land protection. Authorities in charge of protecting agricultural land proceed in accordance with the Methodological Guideline on Protection of Forests and Soil issued by the Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic on 1 October 1996 in File Ref. OOLP/1067/96.

The Agricultural Land Protection Act requires municipal and regional authorities and the Ministry of Environment to carry out state administration in the area of protecting agricultural land. Power regarding agricultural land is directly vested in regional authorities by the Agricultural Land Protection Act, and also, for instance, through Act 129/2000 Coll. on Regions (creation of the Regions), as amended and Act 500/2004 Coll., the Administrative Code. The last two of these laws are the source for the Regional Authority’s powers regarding the methodology and auditing for delegation of powers to municipalities with extended competence and for its status as the appelate body that reviews decisions issued under the Agricultural Land Protection Act by such municipalities. Yet another area is handing down opinions and handling motions, complaints and other filings.

The Regional Authority is vested with the following powers under the Agricultural Land Protection Act:

  • To enforce opinions presented in land-use planning documents in accordance with Sec. 5(2) of the Act except in cases under the jurisdiction of another authority entrusted with protecting agricultural land;
  • To approve applications to establish mining areas pursuant to Sec. 6(2) if the proposed solution affects less than 20 hectares of agricultural land;
  • To approve applications for overhead and underground lines and any part of them pursuant to Sec. 7(3), if their route leaves the jurisdiction of a municipality with extended competence.
  • To approve expropriation of agricultural land pursuant to Sec. 9(6), if the land to be expropriated is farmland, the soil is temporarily uncultivated (Sec. 1(2)) and it has an area of 1-10 hectares; during this it establishes conditions to protect agricultural land, approves a reclamantion plan, establishes, where applicable, a special regime for implementing that plan and defines the prescribed amount, if any, of compensation for the expropriation of the agricultural land.

Further competences:

  • To direct and unify the performance of national administration of protected agricultural land by municipalities with extended competence within the Region’s territory;
  • To supervise how these agricultural land protection authorities are fulfilling their tasks and to audit and send proposals for them to remedy any deficiencies found.
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