Agriculture: Development funds still insufficient

Serbian Agriculture Minister Branislav Nedimovic says that the talks with the German meat company Tönnies have picked up pace in the last few weeks, and that, in the next few days, an agreement will be reached about the exact location of the company’s farm in Serbia.

Although, agriculture was one of the topics extensively covered in the Prime Minister Vucic’s parliamentary expose, the agricultural funds are still insufficient.

“It doesn’t matter how much money the state allocates for agriculture, it is still not enough. We should aspire to implement the EU standards. We want to have a good administration that will be at full disposal to farmers, as well as a very accessible subsidy system. We also want to make our agricultural producers competitive and able to withstand the tough market game”, Nedimovic explains.

The government’s goal is to set aside more funds for agriculture in 2017 and 2018 that will be spent on equipment, machinery, establishing seasonal plantations and doing whatever it can be done to generate added value in agricultural production.

“The state budget will provide funds for agriculture. Also, there is a help from the EBRD which is willing to help with start-ups for the very first time and the EU funds that require us to build internal capacities first before we can use them”, Nedimovic explains.

In regard to the foreign countries where Serbian products are considered quite competitive, Nedimovic says that these are, first and foremost, the CEFTA countries, followed by the EU. He also says that Serbia should make the best use out of the intergovernmental agreements with the countries from the Eurasian Economic Union which have been in force for years.

“Cooperating with China provides numerous opportunities and this is something that the Serbian government will work on more”, the Agricultural Minister concludes.

(N1, 11.10.2016)

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