18 October 2013 The members of the Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Committee at the 19th sitting in Svrljig
Monday, 21 October 2013
19th Sitting of the Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Committee
The Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Committee held a sitting on 18 and 19 October in Svrljig, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
Dragan Mirkovic of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management spoke of the Law on Stimulation of Agriculture and Rural Development and Rulebook on incentives for promoting economic activities in rural areas by supporting non-agricultural activities, stressing that the funds secured for non-agricultural activities in 2013 amount to 59 million RSD.
Milena Savic Ivanov, director of the Plant Gene Bank at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, spoke of the Bank’s activities stressing that the Law on Stimulation of Agriculture and Rural Development allocated 10 million RSD from the budget and recognised the importance of plant gene preservation.
Srdjan Stojanovic director of the Animal Gene Bank, emphasised the low productivity of autochthonous species adding that farmers need to be stimulated by incentive funds and that the preservation of these breeds calls for more attention.
Zoran Knezevic, Director of the Agricultural Land Directorate, presented the measures for the enlargement of agricultural land. He underlined comassation as the most important measure, which is a component part of rural development and an important environmental conservation tool. Knezevic added that 25 local self-government units have launched the process of comassation covering an area of 167 thousand hectares.
In the course of the sitting, the representatives of local self-government and agricultural producers briefed the Committee members on their problems relating to the Municipality’s population density, conservation of autochthonous species and lack of funds necessary to put small farming households on the market. They also stressed that the Municipality of Svrljig has 15 thousand hectares of plough-fields and 19 thousand hectares of pastures, and the Municipality allocates considerable funds for agricultural development.
In the continuation of the sitting, the Committee members asked whether the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management plans to stimulate the conservation of autochthonous species, about the Ministry’s cooperation with the countries in the region, measures the state should employ to prevent the import of seeding material, use of IPARD funds, and whether the Ministry supports the conservation of the genetic resources of endangered species alone or other species as well. The Committee members agreed that small farming households should be steered, empowered and helped to become commercial, which would in turn keep young people in rural areas. They also stressed that the Government should start creating and implementing regional agrarian policies and establishing regional processing centres.
The sitting was chaired by the Committee Chairman, Aleksandar Senic.