Serbia might receive the money from the IPARD funds of the EU for the development of agriculture in the second half of 2017, stated Danilo Golubovic, member of the Government of Serbia's team for negotiations with the EU about agriculture.
He said for Beta that Serbia stood to use EUR 175 million from the IPARD funds from 2014 till 2020.
– In order for the money to be withdrawn, the Directorate for Agrarian Payments needs to be accredited, which is currently being carried out. The government has found the way of employing an additional 106 people, in line with the EU standards, and resolving certain issues in order to make the institution capable of carrying out the money distribution procedures – Golubovic explained.
As he pointed out, serious agriculturists will be able to apply for the IPARD funds by providing a project and the money for its implementation, which mustn't originate in state funds, but must be provided personally or through a bank.
– It is only when, for example, a farm is established and all the requirements met that the farmer acquires the right of receiving returns of up to 50% of funds invested. Before the accession to the EU, such projects do not need to meet the European standards and must only meet the national ones – Golubovic said.
He emphasized that, with the accession to the EU, agriculturists applying for the IPARD funds will also need to meet the standards regarding good agricultural practice, ecology and human and animal health protection and welfare.
The requirement for utilizing the IPARD funds was for Serbia to take over the responsibility for procedures for spending the funds through a so-called decentralized system and for the Directorate of Agrarian Payments to be strengthened and its capacities expanded.
Serbia received the accreditation for the decentralized system of utilizing the EU funds in 2014, and it was first implemented on a part of IPA funds' 2013 projects which are still being carried out.
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