The last day of the Agricultural Fair at the EU Pavilion started with a “powerful” topic – the Embassy of Spain presented the panel “Organic food production – comparisons between Serbia and Spain”.

Experts from both countries spoke on the panel – Prof. Dragana Šunjka, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Novi Sad, Department of Phytomedicine and Environmental Protection; Miloš Vukićević, in front of the company “Tradeagro”; Belen Navarro Cuenca, from the INAGROUP, as well as Pablo Rodriguez Nunez, from the MAFA Group.

“When it comes to organic production in our country – Serbia has great opportunities, primarily natural resources and also an increasing demand. More and more land is under organic production, and the number of organic producers is also growing”, said Professor Šunjka.

Cereals, fruits and even vines are most common in organic production, while vegetables and herbs are produced in limited quantities.

When it comes to arable land, the share of organic production is about one percent. The biggest challenge is the plant protection.

“We are far from Spain, or Austria, which is the leader in the production of organic products, whose share is 25 percent of total agriculture”, concluded the professor.

Connecting our country with Spain and their experience would be of great importance for organic production in Serbia.

Miloš Vukićević, from the company “Tradeagro” shares her opinion.

“Organic production is developing rapidly, and legislation often does not manage to keep up with that development”, Vukićević believes.

Speaking about the legislation, Nunez said that the legislation in Spain is very rigorous, and Cuenca agreed with him.

“I think continuity is necessary here. We have a strict law, recognized at the European level. A clear process is needed, where the raw materials come from, how to label products. Everything must be clear”, she concluded.

Let’s remember, the European Union supported Serbian agriculture with more than EUR 150 million before the start of IPARD II Programme with the allocation of EUR 175 of EU support. 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.