The fourth day of the EU Opportunity Week is dedicated to agriculture, the opportunities available in Serbia are presented at the Fair in Novi Sad. The event was opened by the Deputy Head of EU Delegation to Serbia, Plamena Halacheva, Milica Đurđević, state secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, as well as Milorad Radojević, member of the City Council for the Economy, city of Novi Sad.
Almost 1500 farmers from Serbia have so far used the funds of the European Union – IPARD – but the support does not stop: a new cycle of this program is coming, during which beneficiaries will have another 288 million EU grants available, and another 90 million contributions from the Republic of Serbia.
Halačeva pointed out the importance of this program – the use of IPARD funds in Serbia has changed the situation for the agricultural sector in the country. These grants have restored rural areas, increased productivity, improved market access and promoted sustainable practices.
„By investing in agriculture, rural infrastructure, and agri-food processing, IPARD funds have empowered local communities, created employment opportunities, and improved living conditions. The EU’s commitment to supporting Serbia’s agricultural sector has paved the way for increased productivity, sustainability, and innovation. Through the utilisation of IPARD funds, Serbian farmers have gained access to modern technologies, high-quality equipment, and advanced farming practices. These investments have not only boosted productivity but also ensured the safety and quality of agricultural products. Furthermore, IPARD funds have encouraged environmentally friendly practices, promoting sustainable agriculture and preserving Serbia’s natural resources for future generations“, Halacheva said.
Halačeva reminded that today’s presentation of the opportunities offered to farmers is just one of the days of the EU Opportunity Week, during which citizens can find out what funds they can apply for, and how to do it.
„EU Integration is for everybody in Serbia and I am glad that today we can shed a light on our funds which are available in the field of agriculture“, she concluded.
Milica Đurđević reminded that the possibility of advance payment was introduced, which makes the process of reaching IPARD funds more efficient.
“When it comes to the achieved results, a total of 13 public calls were announced, and 65 million euros of investments were paid, of which 48.8 million were the participation of the EU. I can confirm that the Ministry of Agriculture will make great efforts to ensure that the IPARD funds reach the end users, for whom they are intended,” she said.
Milorad Radović said that the cooperation between the City of Novi Sad and the European Union has been fruitful so far, and above all he emphasized the significant progress of the infrastructure.
“This cooperation allowed us to improve the transport network. Which enables better connections with other European cities, and affects the development of economy and tourism. Also, I want to remind you that Novi Sad was the European Capital of Culture, which is a prestigious title.”
Radović also reminded of the strong support of the European Union to the Biosense Institute. EU funds are crucial for the development of the city, concluded Radović.
The EU Week of Opportunities is a unique series of events that provide Serbian citizens with the opportunity to find out everything they are interested in about the available funds in one place for the first time and take advantage of the opportunities to realise their ideas.
Sessions and debates are held in three cities: Belgrade, Niš and Novi Sad and cover different areas – Economy, business, education, youth, sports, culture, media, civil society, local development, green transition, agriculture.