Following a statement made by the Minister of Agriculture, Branislav Nedimovic that Serbia would be able to „export beef to China in unlimited quantities very soon after several details have been taken care of“, Kragujevac is gearing up for a huge investment by the Chinese state-owned corporation, CMEC which has already established a company here that would deal with wholesale trade of meat and meat products.
„The Memorandum of Understanding that the town of Kragujevac and CMEC signed in December 2015 stipulates that this project, which is expected to kickstart the cattle breeding industry in the county of Sumadija, will be implemented in two stages. The Chinese would first buy heads of cattle from the farmers and slaughter them in certified abattoirs at first. They are also planning to build their own, large-scale abattoir in Cerovac near Kragujevac along with an experimental farm and an educational centre for our cattle breeders. The feasibility study, commissioned by the Chinese company has shown that this project is profitable and can be implemented with Sumadija’s capacity for cattle breeding being around 120,000 heads of cattle. This is enough for production fo 50,000 tonnes of meat. The problem is there are only 30,000 heads of cattle in Sumadija, at the moment, which is four times less than the prospective capacity“, says Damjan Srejic, a member of the Kragujevac City Council for Agriculture.
In an attempt to find as many potential partners as possible, i.e. cattle breeders, the town of Kragujevac has established a cooperation with other regions in Serbia in the last year and a half, primarily with Raska and Rasinski counties which are well-known cattle breeding areas.
„We have contact details for dozens and dozens of livestock breeders in Serbia who are willing to get involved in this huge project. The Chinese are offering several cooperation formats, and favourable loans for purchase of cattle. Also, the Centre for Agriculture and Rural Developed, founded by the city authorities, is at the full disposal to cattle breeders“, Srejic adds.
The aforementioned study, commissioned by CMEC, was conducted by Deloitte.
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