At the 35th sitting, held on 13 September, the members of the Subcommittee for Monitoring the Agricultural Situation in the Marginal - Most Undeveloped Areas in the Republic of Serbia discussed the realization of the IPARD programme in underdeveloped areas.
EU’s IPARD programme - Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance in Rural Development for the programme period 2014-2020 aims to assist in the achievement of European standards and boost competitiveness. It has been approved by both the European Commission and the Republic of Serbia and so far about 185 million EUR of it have been allocated, said Milija Miletic.
Representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management’s Directorate for Agrarian Payments Zarko Radeta, Lazar Popovic, Aleksandar Bogicevic and Dragan Mirkovic went on to present the IPARD programme. According to the Rulebook on ascertaining areas with difficult working conditions in agriculture stipulates that the areas must meet one of three criteria: altitude, location within the boundaries of a national park and number of employees.
The Ministry representatives said that the criteria are also drawbacks of the IPARD programme since an area must be located at an altitude higher that 500 meters and the number of employees has to be lower than 100 per 1000 inhabitants which is very limiting for entrepreneurs.
They said that the IPARD programme requires the inclusion of the local self-government and the Mountaineering Association of Serbia, within its scope, and the need for and outreach to the entrepreneurs so that they might learn more about what the IPARD programme is offering. The officials also discussed changing the quotas stipulated by the IPARD programme for non-refundable assistance because a lot of the households in the field just do not meet the pre-set criteria.
The sitting was chaired by Subcommittee Chairman Milija Miletic, and attended by Subcommittee members Dalibor Radicevic, Mladen Lukic and Zarko Bogatinovic.