The Law on Amendments to the Law on Agriculture and Rural Development has been adopted, according to the latest bulletin “IPARD at a glance,” a piece of legislation of major importance for Serbian farmers.

The most important change brought about with the adoption of the Law concerns the possibility of paying advances to IPARD beneficiaries in the amount of up to 50% of the approved amount of IPARD incentives, with a bank guarantee accounting for 110% of the required amount of advance payment. Therefore, IPARD beneficiaries will be able to secure a significant portion of the financial means for their intended investment upon obtaining the Decision on project approval, whereas the use of advance payments will improve the absorption of EU financial contributions and reduce the risk of reimbursement of EU funds, the bulletin said.

Another important thing that is also new is allowing IPARD beneficiaries to make changes to their approved project only once within the procedure for exercising the right to IPARD incentives.

The announcement of the seventh public call for proposals within IPARD Measure 1 – Investments in physical assets of agricultural holdings – is scheduled for the first half of February 2022, with a budget of 1.3 billion RSD (about 11.06 million EUR). The public call will be open until the end of March 2022. Under this call, only investments in the procurement of a new tractor belonging to the STAGE V category, which meets EU environmental protection requirements, will be eligible.

Furthermore, Serbian farmers can expect a new cycle of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for Rural Development – IPARD III (2021-2027), with an indicative budget of 288 million euros, next year.

For more information, see the 13th edition of “IPARD at a glance” bulletin.

The European Union has donated 230 million euros for agriculture and food safety in Serbia since 2000. Raising competitiveness, food safety and public health standards, respect for animal welfare and environmental standards are the main areas of EU support in this sector. IPARD (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for Rural Development) is the leading programme in this area intended for agricultural producers, with 175 million euros allocated for Serbia in the period between 2014-2020, and another 55 million euros of national co-financing.