WHAT’S it like to be an agricultural communicator in Serbia? That’s the question we put to Agropress, the country’s Association of Agricultural Journalists, who are represented on the IFAJ executive committee by Goran Djakovic.
In this first of a series of IFAJ member country profiles, we learn that Serbia is unique insofar as the effects of the turbulent between 1991-1995 period of war and destruction in its territory and in neighbouring countries are still being felt.One of the consequences was major demographic changes. Also, much of the back-up services needed for modern agriculture, such as research and development, were missing during the war period. Rural life was adversely affected. This explains why Agropress is more prominently involved in agricultural development, relative to many IFAJ members. Agropress sees revitalisation of rural life in Serbia as one of its main goals. The organisation hosts national meetings on rural development, and plays a proactive role in preparing Serbian agriculture for its major upcoming challenge — accession to the European Union, which is scheduled for 2014.Agriculture is covered by about 80 journalists, and 90% of them are members of Agropress.Their average age is about 32 — a young vigorous team helping the Serbian food and agriculture sector to take full advantage of favourable trade agreements with the EU, and more than 20% foreign investment in the sector, which accounts for a relatively large proportion of Serbia’s goods exports.