Serbian farmers have a chance at another cycle of non-repayable aid from the European Union. The topic of IPARD III (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance in Rural Development), for which the EU has allocated EUR 288 million, was discussed by experts of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Directorate for Agrarian Payments at the EU Pavilion at the 91st International Agricultural Fair in Novi Sad.

IPARD III commenced in Spring 2024 with a call for proposals under Measure 1 (Investments in physical assets of agricultural holdings); a call for proposals under Measure 3 is expected to be announced in the next few weeks. The cycle will run for seven years and is expected to yield numerous calls for proposals.

Rastko Cenić, independent adviser at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, explained how Measures 1 and 3 work, what they have in common and what sets them apart. Measure 4 was explained by Marina Vujović, senior advisor at the Ministry, while Katarina Đurić, an independent advisor of the line Ministry, explained Measure 7. Ivan Egerić of the sector for project approval of the Directorate for Agrarian Payments also participated in the session, sharing valuable insight and answering questions from the audience.

Experts discussed the types of investments supported by various measures, the criteria that must be met to receive support, information about the maximum amount of aid for specific investments, how much of their own funding recipients must set aside, the timeline of public calls for proposals, and the role of the advisory service, among other topics.

The panel discussion and other events hosted at the EU Pavilion will be available on

  • Measure 1 – Investments in physical assets of agricultural holdings

The measure is intended for primary agricultural producers to increase the efficiency, competitiveness and sustainability of agricultural production. In addition, the objective of Measure 1 is to align agricultural holdings with EU standards in environmental protection, health and protection of plants and animal welfare, as well as to strengthen the position of farmers in the food chain and support young farmers.

This measure’s recipients include registered agricultural holdings, namely natural persons—holders of family agricultural holdings, entrepreneurs, legal entities, and agricultural cooperatives. Supported sectors are milk, meat, eggs, fishery, fruit, vegetables, viticulture, cereals, and industrial crops.

Under Measure 1, the recipient can claim support, irrespective of the total value of the investment, for eligible expenditures from EUR 20,000 to 1,000,000. The total support that one recipient can receive under this measure during the implementation period of the IPARD III Programme is EUR 2,000,000.

  • Measure 3– Investments in physical assets concerning processing and marketing of agricultural and fishery products

The objective of Measure 3 is to better respond to the food sector’s societal demands for healthy, safe, and high nutritional value food in accordance with EU standards. Furthermore, Measure 3 should help solve the challenges caused by the impact of climate change by encouraging the production of energy from renewable sources and the circular economy. Part of the activities within this measure will contribute to strengthening the position of farmers in the food production chain, encouraging them to cooperate in short-supply chains and produce higher-value products.

The recipients of this measure include registered agricultural holdings, namely entrepreneurs, legal entities and agricultural cooperatives. Supported processing and marketing sectors include milk, meat, egg, fishery, fruit, vegetables, grapes, cereals, and industrial crops.

Under Measure 3, the recipient can claim support, irrespective of the total value of the investment, for eligible expenditures from EUR 20,000 to EUR 1,300,000. The total support that one recipient can receive under this measure during the implementation period of the IPARD III Programme is EUR 2,500,000.

  • Measure 4 – Agri-environment-climate and organic farming measure

The measure aims to encourage agricultural producers to protect and enhance the environment on agricultural land under their management. For Serbian farmers, this is a new measure that is still in the accreditation process. It is expected to become available next year and is particularly interesting to beekeepers.

The general goal of this measure is to contribute to the sustainable management of natural resources and climate change adaptation, as well as to their mitigation through the application of sustainable agricultural production methods that go beyond the level of protection already determined by national regulations.

  • Measure 7 – Farm diversification and business development

The support within this measure aims to create new job opportunities in rural areas, increase the level and scope of service availability, and improve the quality of life in rural areas.

Recipients of Measure 7: natural persons – holders of commercial family farm holdings registered in the Register of Agricultural Holdings with an active status; entrepreneurs and micro and small legal entities registered in the Business Registers Agency with an active status and located in rural areas.

The support is aimed at the construction/reconstruction and equipping of facilities (including vehicle purchase and/or equipment) for the provision of non-agricultural services. Investments in facilities for the production of renewable energy are eligible only if they are part of a larger project covering all sectors.

The aid intensity is up to 60% of the total eligible expenditures, which may be increased further up to 10% for investments carried out by young farmers and producers of certified organic products. The support could be increased by another 10% for investments in wastewater management, circular economy, and renewable energy sources. The maximum aid intensity cannot surpass 75%.

More information about IPARD III can be found on the dedicated website of the Ministry of Agriculture –

Helpful information can also be found on the website of the Directorate for Agrarian Payments, an agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Water Management tasked with implementing the IPARD programme. Inquiries may also be directed via email at or +381 11 31 07 013.

The European Union Delegation to Serbia hosts the EU Pavilion in Hall 1 of the Novi Sad Fair from Saturday, May 18, to Thursday, May 23. During the Fair, visitors can attend over 40 info panels and workshops, where numerous experts will discuss quality food production, animal health, crop seed production, technology innovation, sustainable agriculture, and other current topics.

The EU Pavilion will host a special treat, EU Kitchen: We invite all visitors to taste the flavours of different European cuisines prepared by EU Member States’ diplomats. This unique gastronomic event will allow visitors to enjoy authentic dishes and learn more about the culinary heritage of the European Union.

The full programme is available on this link.

The European Union supported Serbian agriculture with EUR 175 million before the start of IPARD II. The ongoing IPARD III programme will bring even more opportunities for Serbian farmers and another EUR 288 million of EU support. The main objectives of IPARD support include increasing the competitiveness of Serbian farmers, preserving the environment and biodiversity, supporting rural businesses and communities, and developing rural infrastructure.