The head of the EU delegation to Serbia, Sem Fabrizi, and Serbian Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic signed the IPARD II Financial Agreement 2014-2020 on Friday, June 29, 2018, which will enable the signing of the first agreements with agriculturists and the payment of the assistance, Danas reports.
Following the signing at the new seat of the Directorate for Agrarian Payments in New Belgrade, Fabrizi reminded that IPARD II entailed a grant of EUR 175 million, and that, with the contribution of local authorities and private financing, around EUR 400 million will be invested in agriculture.
As Beta reports, Minister of Agriculture Branislav Nedimovic, who attended the signing, specified that these direct investments of EUR 400 million concerned equipment, processing facilities, mechanization...
Fabrizi pointed out that the projects applied now needed to be carefully examined and emphasized that he believed that the agreements would be signed before the end of the summer.
Agriculture is a big potential for growth, Fabrizi believes, as it makes up 10% of Serbia’s GDP, whereas 20% of the employed work in this field and 50% of the export of agricultural products is directed at the European Union.
The export of products to the EU has doubled in the past eight year, amounting to EUR 1.5 billion, said Fabrizi, who pointed out that IPARD was the entry point and the first test for the Serbian agriculture, showing whether it is ready for the competition after it becomes an EU member.
– I encourage the minister to continue working and making all the other necessary steps in the process – he said.
Nedimovic pointed out that 500 applications had been sent at the IPARD invitations and that the Directorate was doing its job, controlling the applications, and added that he believed that “if all proves alright”, the first agreements would be delivered on Thursday, July 5.
Jadranka Joksimovic reminded that the most important requirement for the process of accreditation for the grants had been for the Directorate of Agrarian Payments to be moved from Sabac to Belgrade.
– The road towards carrying out all the activities was long and this is the first time for Serbian agriculturists to be able to use the EU grants – Joksimovic pointed out and emphasized that the program was also important for the purpose of harmonizing the agricultural policy of Serbia with the single European policy in this sector.
Two public invitations have been placed so far – for the procurement of mechanization
and for the procurement of tractors