Devastating data on agriculture and farmers in Serbia

The results of the Serbian agriculture census from 2023 show the collapse of livestock farming and farmers, agro-economist Milan Prostran says.

Commenting on the agricultural census data published today, he says that it is not clear why they were compared with the survey from 2018, instead of with the official data from the penultimate agricultural census in 2012.

“The results of the agricultural census from last year show the collapse of animal husbandry, as a supporting branch, as well as the collapse of people engaged in that agricultural segment,” Prostran told Beta news agency.

According to the 2023 census, there were 508,365 agricultural holdings in Serbia, or 10 percent less compared to the 2018 survey, but the number of agricultural companies increased by 24 percent to 2,042.

Compared to 2018, the number of available and used land was reduced by about 20 percent, while the number of agricultural workers also fell by 14 percent.

The average age of the head of a family farm is 60 years, while every 11th head of a farm is under 40 years old.

In 2023, the average agricultural farm cultivated 6.4 hectares of land, has one cow, five pigs, three sheep, 43 chickens and three beehives.

Prostran adds that the data show that livestock production is in a serious crisis.

“In the EU, animal husbandry is the foundation of agricultural production, with a 72-percent share, while in Serbia, that share stands at 25%“, Prostran notes and adds that many farmers have left the sector and that farms are shrinking in size.

He goes on to say that the census results show that agricultural production in Serbia is extensive, that the negative trends have not been stopped despite the subsidies, and that farms cultivate an average of 6.4 hectares of land, while the EU average is 22 hectares.

Comparing the 2023 to 2023 census, Prostran adds that, in 2012, there were 908,102 head of cattle in Serbia, and in 2023, that number fell to 725,408. There were 3,407,318 pigs in 2012 and 2,263,705 according to last year’s census.

(Danas, 30.01.2024)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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