The Serbian Grain Association hosted a round-table discussion recently at Global Grain Geneva to promote Serbian grain and the country as a top exporter, given that Serbia is now regularly ranked among the ten largest wheat and corn exporters worldwide. The session at Europe’s biggest annual meeting of grain players, a first for the association, was organized and supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Global Grain Geneva attracts 1,100 attendees from 65 countries every year and provides an opportunity to share best practices and experiences in exporting grain. For the Serbian Grain Association, this year’s edition – which takes place from 13 to 15 November – offers the chance to network with numerous producers, millers, feed companies and traders as well as finance, shipping, legal and technology specialists.
The round table that focused on Serbia was organized within the project of the development of the capacities of agribusiness associations in new exporting markets, carried out in Serbia by FAO and EBRD. Claudio Scarrozza, an expert with many years of experience in large international companies in this sector, moderated the discussion among the participants in the round table: Wojtek Boniaszczuk, regional agribusiness head at the EBRD, Slavko Jovanovic, the president of the Serbian Grain Association’s Managing Board,, representatives of companies-members of the Serbian Grain Association – Agroglobe, Konzul, MK Commerce, Granexport, DTL Transport, as well as the Association of Swiss Freight Forwarding and Logistics Companies and interested clients from the UK, Saudi Arabia and other countries.
The participants were presented with the latest data on the quantities and the quality of the production of wheat, corn, sunflowers, soy and rapeseed in Serbia, the country's exporting capacities and the key markets where these cultures are sold.
– Serbia is still among the ten biggest exporters of wheat and corn in the world, as shown by an analysis of the Serbian Grain Association, prepared based on the data of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the 2014/15 – 2017/18 period. More precisely, it is seventh in the export of corn, whereas, in the export of wheat, it takes the tenth spot. Our country has maintained high yields of these cultures per hectare and is still second when it comes to wheat, right below the EU average, and fifth in corn. In the economic year 2018/19, Serbia is expected to export 2.7 million tons of corn, 1.7 million tons of wheat, 300,000 tons of soy, 137,000 tons of sunflowers and 130,000 tons of rapeseed – said Slavko Jovanovic.
– In the past two years, we have successfully implemented the project of boosting the export of grains and oil plants in Serbia in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture of Serbia and the Serbian Grain Association. The project entailed the preparation of numerous sector analyses, professional gatherings, educational trips and enhanced communication between all the key participants in this sector. One of the latest results of the public-private dialogue in the field of grains and oil plants is that Serbia will be certified for the export of wheat to Egypt this autumn. As part of the new project, the plan is to also organize the National Grain Conference, as well as the Crop Tour for agrarian journalists before the next year's wheat harvest – says Milos Milovanovic, the coordinator of FAO-EBRD projects in Serbia.
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