Students help Czech farmers

2. 4. 2020 -

Dozens of students at Mendel University in Brno are involved in part-time work in agriculture and forestry during the coronavirus crisis. The web agroprace.cz helps to regulate supply and demand. Mendel University in Brno also cooperates with individual companies, some of whom are managed by its graduates.

An example is the Bezdínek farm in Dolní Lutyně in the Karviná region, with the largest hydroponic production greenhouse in the Czech Republic, where about 230 people work under normal conditions. "We now have about 60 employees at home because they care for children and we have to replace them. Due to the spread of quarantine risk and the closure of greenhouses, which would be destructive due to the nature of our production, we were forced to divide all workers into two shifts that do not meet each other. Now we are in continuous operation in the mode of 2 days one shift, 2 days the second shift, " says Jan Fučík, who is a graduate of MENDELU.

The farm also has two first-year students. Rostislav Berezjuk studies wood processing technology at the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology and Marie Javorská Economic Policy and Administration at the Faculty of Business and Economics. "The work is not very related to our fields of study, but at least we tried something new," said Javorská and her colleague adds: "If the employer is satisfied with us, we plan to stay on the farm for at least a month." Berezjuk decided to work on the farm in an effort to help and "ventilate" a little while earning money. He considers the two-day shift system to be ideal as he can devote himself to distance learning during his leisure time.

In the greenhouse on the lifting platform it starts and compares the individual plants. "The work is not monotonous and is quite entertaining. The company management and the whole team is very friendly and willing to help, explains everything in peace and answers every question. I would definitely recommend this company to potential jobseekers, "says Berezjuk. His friend Marie Javorská decided to work in agriculture in an effort to use time for meaningful activities. "I work on a lifting platform. I am responsible for tying plants and removing unnecessary tomato shoots. The work is very nice and quickly passes, although it may not seem at first sight," said Javorská.

According to Fucik, students and other temporary workers are placed in the position of greenhouse operator, which involves all work operations around the plants - tying, harvesting, cutting the leaves, arranging flowers, pinching shoots, hanging plants. "Even in normal mode, we have a high hygiene standard on the farm - disinfection, clean zones, employees have clean work clothes every day, we wash all employees' clothes every day, disinfect their hands and work tools regularly, etc. Now in the coronavirus crisis we have measures even stricter, "said Fučík. "Apart from our employees, we don't let anyone go to the farm. If we can maintain traffic without quarantine, we do not expect any revenue losses. Interest in domestic vegetables is high due to the situation, "added Fučík.