A step towards the common agricultural policy

How to strengthen the position of agriculture in Serbia in the process of accession to the European Union was the topic of the conference entitled “Green Architecture and Common Agricultural Policy”, held at the 89th International Agricultural Fair and organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water-management of the Republic of Serbia.

- Numerous experts in the field of agriculture and rural development focused on preparing Serbia for its accession to the EU. The projects have gathered various experts in agriculture and rural development for Chapter 11, i.e. those from the field of veterinary science and phytosanitary policy for Chapter 12, said the expert team leader Snježana Španjol. – We are preparing numerous studies, analyzing the current state of affairs and giving preparations. Also, we are preparing the negotiating position of Serbia regarding Chapters 11 and 12.

Green architecture, discussed at the conference, is a very important segment of the common agricultural policy and, what is more important according to Snježana Španjol, Serbia is already applying some of these measures.

- One of them is organic farming, which has become increasingly important and which allows small and medium farms to make additional income, because such products boast added value, Snježana Španjol said.

What kind of experience of the EU countries, which were formerly part of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, can Serbia use to strengthen its negotiating position regarding agriculture?

- Serbia is already providing support to young farmers, because, unfortunately, villages are either being abandoned or left with older population. Another step is the support provided to small and medium farmers, because they are more flexible and can change production more easily. Naturally, we also encourage them to form associations in order to strengthen their market position.

Organic farmers also face promising market positioning

Speaking about the importance of organic production in Serbia at the 89th International Agricultural Fair, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water-management, Branislav Nedimović emphasized that the export of agricultural products had increased over the past six years from around USD 3.8 million to over USD 57 million.

- I believe this is a metaphor of the changes in organic agricultural production. And I am not even talking about the size of the cultivated area, which has been multiplied. Even more importantly, we can notice that we have raised people’s awareness about agriculture being more than just a commercial production, Nedimović said.- We have been trying to adapt to the most demanding buyers of our organic agricultural products from German, the USA, Canada and France.


More money for organic production

Minister Branislav Nedimović promised that more money from the budget would be allocated to support organic agricultural production, especially when it came to fruit growing in the west and east parts of Serbia. The increased importance of organic agricultural production is recognized by the minister in the fact that all major players from the grain markets are opting for organic agriculture.



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