Saturday, October 15, 2011

Low competitiveness sore point to agriculture

SUBOTICA - Low competitiveness, technological backwardness and high unemployment rate experts are the biggest problems faced by the Serbian agriculture sector, experts said on the first day of the "Food for Europe" forum in the city of Subotica Friday.

According to the experts, it is necessary to adopt a new agricultural development strategy as soon as possible to increase the competitiveness of Serbian agriculture and increase sales of processed products.

Serbian Association of Agricultural Economists President Miladin Sevarlic pointed to the domestic production's low productivity, giving an example that the efforts by a farmer in Serbia make for an average of 18 processed products, while his German counterpart's result is about 150 such items.

Sevarlic is of the opinion that subsidies to agriculture should be changed in favor of livestock production and demographic and environmental sustainability of rural areas, as well as to improve infrastructure and logistics for access of domestic products in the EU market.

Serbian Association of Agricultural Economists Vice President Danilo Tomic said Serbia should seriously prepare for the harsh competition that it would face upon entry into the World Trade Organization and the EU.

Dragan Sagovnovic of the Economics Institute said that the agro-economic activity was Serbia's most important one as it involved 20 percent of the country's total number of employees, it generated 16.9 percent of the gross value added (GVA) and made up 24 percent of the country's exports.

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