Friday, 28 July 2017
15th Sitting of the Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Committee
At the sitting held on 28 July 2017, the members of the Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Committee reviewed the current drought-related agricultural problems, consequences and measures that can be undertaken and the problems of agricultural producers’ associations.
Speaking of the problems concerning crops, Zeljko Radosevic, State Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, said that the production of corn in 2017 will, according to estimates, not be a record one and that the year will end with about million tonnes of transitional corn reserves while the amount of corn available for export remains undetermined which is an issue of great importance for Serbia’s economy. Speaking of the production of wheat, Radosevic said that 2.3 million tonnes have been harvested and with the current reserves we have 2.8 million at our disposal, 1.3 million tonnes of which have been earmarked for export. He added that the Ministry is following that state-of-play minutely, at a weekly rate, engaging all the capacities of the Directorate for Agrarian Payments, maintains excellent communication with agricultural producers and is employing all other adequate measures to prevent any negative fallout of the drought.
Speaking of the problems concerning perennial crops, Velimir Stanojevic, State Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, said that the drought is affecting both the existing vegetation and the formation of next year’s buds. According to estimates the raspberry yield is lower than in past years and the drought has also affected the quality of the fruit. Speaking of apples, pears and plums, the yield in intensive production areas is satisfactory. Stanojevic also said that the Ministry is stimulating the procurement and improvement of irrigation systems.
Zorica Radicevic of the Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia presented the temperature and precipitation regime on the territory of Serbia recorded at the beginning of summer and concluded that this year’s yield would not be as good as last year’s when the climate conditions were ideal for plants.
Zeljko Kaitovic, representative of the “Zemun Polje” Corn Institute, spoke about corn as the economically most significant crop stressing that, according to estimates, the drought has led to a 40% drop in yield. He also said that producers are increasingly employing precaution measures, mentioning the use of hybrids with shorter vegetation periods as the most important one.
The Committee concluded that the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management should employ the measures at its disposal to alleviate the harmful effects of the drought, start the realization of existing projects and utilize future projects to improve the irrigation system.
Branislav Veljkovic of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Rural Development Department presented the activities of agricultural producers’ associations in the last year, the projects being developed, adding that the newly-established agricultural club has opened a new channel of communication between the producers and the Ministry. The attending representatives of agricultural producers’ associations then listed the existing problems and gave a number of suggestions.
The sitting was chaired by Committee Chairman Marijan Risticevic and attended by the following Committee members and deputy members: Veroljub Matic, Tijana Davidovac, Zarko Bogatinovic, Radovan Jancic, Milija Miletic, Vladimir Djuric, Nada Lazic, Prof. Dr Miladin Sevarlic, Arpad Fremond, Goran Jesic, Miroslav Aleksic, Zvonimir Djokic, Milorad Mircic, Dr Ljubinko Rakonjac and Dragan Jovanovic.
Committees related to this activity
11.30 - the National Assembly Speaker takes part in the on-line meeting of the EP facilitated Inter-Party Dialogue (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, library)