Vice-President of the People’s Party (Narodna Stranka) and member of parliament Miroslav Aleksic today called on the Serbian government and Minister of Agriculture Branislav Nedimovic to urgently open outdoor markets and small green markets so that farmers are not forced to throw away their products in which they have invested a lot of work and effort and to implement measures to prevent the collapse of agriculture in Serbia.
“If the authorities have not agreed with large retail chains and systems to buy early seasonal fruit and vegetables from farmers in Serbia, at least they can open outdoor markets. It is not normal for people to buy fruit and vegetables indoors, without being able to do so in outdoor markets, with all the necessary precautions taken,” Aleksic said in a written note.
He said that the state must essentially help farmers, because “the state has introduced a measure that has prevented them from selling their produce and as a result, they have suffered serious damage”.
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Aleksic called on the government to provide an 80,000-dinar-subsidy to all fruit and vegetable growers that have greenhouses.
“If small businesses will get 30,000 dinars per month for each of their employees, there is no reason for fruit and vegetable growers not to receive the same kind of budgetary support forgiven that they have suffered very serious damages, mainly due to the closure of outdoor markets,” Aleksic said.
He urged the state to pay all its outstanding liabilities to farmers from previous years, because these funds are now more necessary than ever.
“The price of diesel fuel for farmers has to be 100 dinars per litre. To compare, a litre of diesel in Macedonia costs equivalent of 85 dinars, in Bosnia and Herzegovina 88 dinars and in Serbia, it stands at 150 dinars. How can Serbian farmers be competitive if they pay 65 dinars more per litre of diesel than the neighbouring countries?” Aleksic asks.
According to him, the State Directorate for Commodity Reserves should urgently buy the surplus of cattle which has been created due to the shutdown of hotels, restaurants and other catering facilities.
He also underlined that Nedimovic did not propose substantial measures to help agriculture, as his proposals have been reduced to subsidized agricultural loans, a measure that is already implemented, and the opening of online produce markets.
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