Recommendations for Minister Nedimović

Organic Food Month - Report with recommendations (in Serbian)

Within the meeting between the representatives of Agro Cluster, National Public Policy Secretariat, NALED and USAID with the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Branislav Nedimović, the attendees presented the key recommendations for improving the organic farming.

The recommendations have been generated within the campaign "Organic Food Month" organized in December as part of the Public Private Dialogue for Growth Project, implemented by NALED and NPPS with the support of USAID. Organic farmers, as well as all citizens interested in food produced without the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides and GMO, have pointed out the necessary changes of regulation and practices in organic farming, via website and at round tables in Selenča, Valjevo and Užice.

The key recommendations, nominated to be included in the state agenda for resolving the issues in organic farming, are the following:

  • ease the procedure of registering plant protection agents allowed in organic farming, in a manner ensuring that the agents used in the EU are promptly available to the prodcuers in Serbia
  • allow agricultural households to trade organic products with higher degree of processing - currently, the households may only trade raw products or those considered the first degree of processing, while further processed products, such as juices or jams made of these products, are reserved exclusively for legal entities 
  • ensure higher incentives for organic farming
  • design a model of support program for organic farming provided by the local governments, modeled by the program implemented by Novi Sad for years back, which entirely covers the expenses of control and certification for the organic producers
  • enable procurement of organic food for the needs of schools, kindergartens, homes for the elderly, homes for people with special needs and hospitals.

Within the meeting with Minister Nedimović, all stakeholders agreed on further activities towards resolving the proposed recommendations.

As a reminder, NALED's data show that the area used for growing organic food in Serbia has been doubled, reaching 13,400 hectares, while the number of producers has been increased six times, from 1,061 to 6,153. On the other hand, only 0.4% of arable land is used for organic production, much lower than in our EU neighbor countries (Austria 21.3%, Croatia 6.1%, Bulgaria 3.2%), and the main reasons include the hindering regulations and insufficient support. 

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