Successful farming season in Serbia

By Goran Djakovic

Serbian guild AGROPRESS has organized big event in Hyatt in Belgrade: “Agribusiness Serbia 2010 – International integrations and perspectives”

Opening the national conference ‘Agribusiness in Serbia 2010 – Serbia’s International Integration and Perspective’ at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said it is expected that this year’s yield will be satisfactory and have a positive effect on Serbia’s GDP. The Prime Minister said that regardless of this year’s good results, Serbia must keep investing in agriculture, therefore the state will continue to provide subsidies and other forms of support to this sector. He stressed that agricultural improvement is one of the pillars of the country’s even-balanced regional development, adding that the global agricultural products market has been stabilized due to a projected growth in demand.  

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Sasa Dragin said he expects the surplus in foreign trade in farming products to exceed the last year’s, which stood at around $600 million, adding that this will demonstrate the true strength of the Serbian agriculture even in this time of crisis. He stressed that the Ministry of Agriculture has drafted an agricultural development programme from 2009 until 2011, a comprehensive programme for legal and institutional strengthening, as well as projected agricultural policy measures and subsidies. Dragin said that three sets of measures in the programme are crucial, namely market, investment and general measures, whose aim is the overall improvement of the Serbian agriculture.   

This is the key year for the Serbian agriculture when it comes to introducing the new European legislature in our farming sector, Dragin said adding that the Ministry is organizing special departments for taking over the funds from the EU. He also said he expects the agricultural budget for 2010 to surpass this year’s, which stood at RSD 16 billion. 

Director of the USAID mission to Serbia Michael Harvey said that the agricultural sector is one of the engines of the Serbian economy, underlining that the surplus in this sector gives hope that the entire economy can also move forward. He recalled that through the Agribusiness Project, the USAID has secured $20 million to Serbia’s farming for the purpose of improving the productivity and competitiveness. 

The National Conference has been organized by the Serbian Association of Agricultural Journalists – AGROPRESS, together with the USAID Agribusiness Project and with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management and Serbian government. According to announcements, over 150 managers of agribusiness in Serbia, representatives of producers, associations, international organizations, scientific institutions and 56 accredited journalists have participated in the Conference. Mr. Goran Djakovic, the President of AGROPRESS and IFAJ Executive Committee Member has been the moderator of the event. 

Ms. Slobodanka Marcetic, representing the general sponsor of the event the Veterinary Medicine Institute Zemun Inc., has also addressed the audience at the Conference. Ms. Marcetic was stating in her speech the importance of using principles of good producers practice in agricultural production. The scientists from this Institute had an opportunity to present to the Prime Minister, who was visiting their exhibition stand, “Flogocit” medicine which has been in production for more than 50 years and now is being used for human and animal medical treatment.

Pictures from the event could be seen on the following link: www.agropress.org.rs/plugin/gallery/gallery/6.html
Video from the event could be seen on the following link: www.agropress.org.rs/video-klip.html

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