The second round table within the public campaign Organic Food Month, realized by the Agro Cluster of Serbia and NALED within the four-year Public Private Dialogue for Growth Project, was organized in Užice on 12 December.
The aim of this campaign and the round tables is to provide an opportunity to producers, consumers and their associations, representatives of relevant institutions and the expert public to offer solutions for improving the conditions for the production and placement of organic food in Serbia. The event in Užice brought together a large number of farmers from the Zlatibor County, representatives of the expert public and decision-makers on the regional and local level who discussed the advantages and weaknesses of organic producers' position in this region.
It was concluded that organic farming represents an underused potential and a development opportunity in the mountainous regions as well, but the state needs to provide an adequate stimulating policy for this line of work. Another major problem is the insufficient education among farmers about what is classified as an organic product, how controlled process of organic production works, and what makes a difference between an organic and home-grown product in rural households. One of the important questions was how to market the organic products in rural areas, where a large share of population produces food. The discussion participants agreed that there is a need for establishing associations of organic producers in order to improve the competitiveness and create better conditions for the production and placement in the country and abroad.
The following round table wil be organized on Monday, 17 December in Valjevo. During the public campaign, all interested stakeholders may submit ther recommendations and engage in dialogue via website www.jpd.rs. The proposals with the highest grades are most likely to be included on the state's agenda when it comes to resolving the problems faced by the organic food producers in Serbia.
The project Public Private Dialogue for Growth financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and implemented by NALED in cooperation with the National Public Policy Secretariat.