The administrative registration procedure at the Agricultural Households Registry can be accelerated as much as four times and the associated costs can be reduced by more than 80% if it were transferred from paper to the digital world, as shown by NALED's analysis carried out under the Support to Administrative Procedures Reform project, with support from the German Development Cooperation and in cooperation with the The Public Policy Secreteriat of the Republic of Serbia.
Farmers wishing to register a household are required to submit 89 data points on more than 10 different documents, of which at least 60% are unnecessary (they are either repeated or already exist in other institutions' databases). Officers check the data manually, even type it all over again, which leads to unnecessary waste of time and may result in an error and delays in the payment of subsidies.
- The recommendation from NALED's Gray Book, popularly called e-agrar, basically envisages a software solution where, instead of submitting documentation and going to four counters, each agricultural household owner would have an account on the Agrarian Payments Authority's portal, such as social media accounts, and would enter information about themselves, the members of the household, the parcels on which they produce, the animals or crops they cultivate. Thus, the total cost for agricultural household owners could be reduced from 133 to 19 million dinars, as well as the average time of going through the procedure from 280 to 75 minutes - says NALED Executive Board member and the Mayor of Pozarevac Bane Spasovic.
The head of the agricultural household, through websites or with the support of service centers, would also apply for subsidies, and would receive the asset allocation decisions electronically. The software would control the accuracy of the information entered by accessing the cadastre, MIA, BRA, Veterinary Directorate and other bodies.
According to Spasovic, NALED got the green light from the Ministry of Agriculture and a willingness to improve the procedure, and the Ministry has already done a great deal by canceling the mandatory annual registration renewal (except in case of data changes) which had the highest cost (almost 750 million dinars).
Why is it important to digitalize farming procedures? More than 430,000 households are registered in the existing register, of which at least 376,000 are active. A large bureaucratic burden would be removed from a great number of citizens directly affected by this procedure.