COOPERATION BETWEEN BELGRADE CITY ADMINISTRATION AND BELGRADE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ON IMPROVEMENT OF AGRICULTURE

 

In spite of the fact that the Belgrade Administration has no authorities beside those delegated by the Government, nor the obligation to allocate funds for agricultural development, it does so. This was remarked at the meeting held in the Belgrade Chamber of Commerce on July 7, 2009.
This practice will be continual, due to role of agriculture as one of the most important industries and in particular, having in mind the existing capacities for its development and high market demand for agricultural products, confirmed Stanija Višekruna, Deputy Secretary of Secretariat for Economy and Biljana Čukić, Director of Agriculture Department.

Under the Law on Agricultural Land, local administrations, including the one of Belgrade, were entrusted the management and use of agricultural land. That work has been completed for eight municipalities, with 4,747 ha of state-owned land designated for lease. This year, the City Administration will allocate 18 million RSD for land restructuring, 2 million RSD for land protection, and 10 million RSD for research activities. These amounts will be increased in the subsequent years, since 40% of city budget will be generated by lease of land (in all municipalities) and hence will be invested in agriculture.

Last year, the City planned to approve 100 million RSD in loans to SMEs for purchase of equipment, seed, raw material, and building up of capacities, but the interest was low so only 18 million RSD were distributed. The loan terms are determined by banks, so the City selects the one that provides the best offer.

This year, the City has doubled last year's budget for stimulation of agricultural production, projects and exhibitions, (80 million RSD for stimulation of agriculture, 5.5 million for projects, 3 million for exhibitions). Since last year, City of Belgrade has been financing projects contributing to agricultural development; this year, 7 projects have been approved for financing. Also, 24 subsidy contracts have been awarded for ISO standard and HACCP implementation and certification.
The planned amount for milk premiums is 15.9 million RSD - 2.5 RSD per 1 litre of milk with 3.2% fat, and 26.6 million RSD in premiums for first-calf heifers – 5.300 RSD per heifer.

Development of agriculture is indirectly supported by employment programmes, so for that purpose 50 million RSD have been planned. Last year, 11 projects stimulating various forms of business associating and cooperation were financed.
All participants confirmed expectations to see these activities in continuation and in closer cooperation with cooperatives that have best insight into on-site developments.

Belgrade Chamber of Commerce presented two of its projects financed by the City Administration - Agro Info Points and Cluster of Decorative Plants Producers and Traders.