The 91st International Agricultural Fair in Novi Sad was officially inaugurated today, with the opening ceremony attended by General Director of Novi Said Fair Nikola Lovrić, President of the Provincial Government Maja Gojković, Mayor of Novi Sad Milan Đurić, EU Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski, and Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia Miloš Vučević.

As part of the opening ceremony, Commissioner Wojciechowski, together with EU Ambassador to Serbia Emanuele Giaufret, visited the exhibitors in Hall 1.

The ceremony was followed by a VIP panel discussion at the EU Pavilion, during which Commissioner Wojciechowski, Minister of Agriculture of Serbia Aleksandar Martinović, and Prof. Vladimir Crnojević of BioSense Institute discussed the advantages of applying EU standards in Serbia.

EU Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski said he was looking forward to his upcoming visit to Serbia, a close neighbour and a significant partner for the EU.

“In addition to our important agri-food trade relationship, the EU supports the farmers of Serbia by promoting productivity, sustainability, and innovation through IPARD and other programmes. In my meetings with Prime Minister Vučević, Minister Miščević and Minister Martinović, I will discuss our partnership and how we can forge a stronger and shared future in food and farming. A highlight of my visit will be the Novi Sad fair, which will provide an excellent opportunity to discover more about the food and drink of Serbia, as well as to promote the depth and diversity of our quality EU products,” Wojciechowski said.

Minister Martinović described the European Union as an important partner of Serbia, both from an agricultural and economic point of view. He underlined that Serbia ships around 50 per cent of its products to the EU market.

Martinović said that the Ministry would be open to dialogue with everyone, small and big agricultural producers alike. According to him, the cooperation between farmers, the state, and companies is key to success in agriculture.

Prof. Crnojević, Director of BioSense Institute, discussed the importance of digitisation in agriculture, specifically the e-Agrar platform, the Serbian counterpart of the European AKIS platform (Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System).

Prof. Crnojević cited the agricultural land management system, a platform for organic production management, and website – aimed at detecting and preventing frequent stubble burning in agricultural fields – as some of the results of the digitisation of the Serbian economy that would be of great use to the Serbian farmers.

Prime Minister Vučević, President of the Provincial Government Gojković, Minister of European Integration Tanja Miščević, and Minister of Science Jelena Begović also visited the EU Pavillion.

The Fair visitors also had a chance to hear the inclusive choir “Dobri ljudi” which is supported by the European Union.

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.

Also, the shopping centre “Promenada” is hosting an exhibition to honour the European Union’s most successful partners and projects in agriculture.