“We got twice as much as we had, but also twice less than what we asked for.” I am not quoting some philosopher or analyst, but Nedeljko Savić, a farmer from Požarevac, who is also a representative of the farmers’ organization “Stig” from that part of Serbia. Together with their colleagues from six other associations, after five days of protest, they managed to “convince” the state and its representatives that without its help their further work cannot take a step forward. That they are threatened with, and in the literal sense of the word, bankruptcy.
Since they managed to obtain 18,000 dinars in subsidies per hectare and to raise the land maximum on that basis from 20 to 100 hectares from the following year, milk premiums were increased from 15 to 19 dinars, and the request to increase them from 30,000 to 40,000 dinars was complied with. incentives for dairy and breeding cattle, i.e. cows. As for protection from lobbies dealing with the import of agricultural, and above all, milk and dairy products, I am convinced that she will keep her promises, because protectionism and patriotism in the economy have long since been pushed out of the “game”. Conquering consumers and the market is followed by some new paths, by no means, riches, slogans and pounding in the chest!?
By the way, the protest was put to an end by the signing of an agreement between the representatives of seven organizations and associations of farmers with the relevant minister. In that agreement, it was underlined in bold ink that the farmers undertake, while it is in force, that there will be no protest organized. It is an “additional” methodology and skill not only of this, but of every government.
IN BELGRADE “ŽICANJE”, IN NOVI SAD SHOWING OFF
At the same time that figures, percentages, bargaining, concessions and characteristic “diplomacy” for such occasions were “hitting” the walls and ceiling during marathon negotiations lasting more than five hours in the offices in Nemanja Street in Belgrade, the jubilee 90 was opened in Novi Sad. International Agricultural Fair.
I am not citing this as news, but as an example of the gap in Serbian agriculture. In the government building and the relevant ministry, farmers and herdsmen were “begging” for help while the stars of that event were strutting at the fair, that is, to be more precise, the future of world, continental, regional and and the Serbian agrarian.
At the head of that column was the most modern agricultural machinery, devices, systems and other logistics that enable faster, easier, better quality and more efficient performance of preparatory and final work. It is about machines and devices that, in the most complicated and sensitive circumstances, replace people and enable the creation of power. And in agriculture, that power is called profit.
The prices in hundreds of thousands of euros per machine or robot for the bidders were very affordable, and those farmers who protested could stand next to them, admire them and cross their left and right hands. Unfortunately, they are still haggling for a dinar up or down in the purchase prices of almost all agricultural crops, fruit, meat, milk…
FEAR OF MACHINES A CHEAP EXCUSE
Why am I saying this? First of all, for the sake of comparison and warning. Even three years ago, I started one of the columns on the pages of our portal with the sentence: “If by any chance a robot knocks on your door, be sure to invite him for coffee”. Given the traditional kindness of our farmers, I had no doubt that they would offer coffee and sweets to this novelty as well!
And indeed, when it comes to the introduction of new technologies, informatics, robotics, and even artificial intelligence in Serbian agriculture, it is not an empty story or, as one might hear, scaring the crows. A significant number of companies, agrarian clusters and complex agricultural cooperatives, larger, medium-sized and even smaller farms show interest in this type of challenge and progress. So, even though we are behind schedule, we do not lack optimism.
Farmers who plow with the support of oxen or horses are not afraid of machines that can get out of control and spill blood.
AND PAORI LOVE ROBOTS, BUT THEY SUFFER
However, with the previous and recently completed protests, protests and marathon negotiations with state representatives, the farmers did not enter due to the denial of funds and support for the procurement of robotic platforms, drones, watering and other remote control systems, but to stop further spilling of milk, so that the cows do not they sell to slaughterhouses, so that they can get fuel without excise duty and not wander through their arable land like a desert… They were looking for “seed” to stay in the groove and save themselves from ruin.
These are the demands of those who belong to, by far, the largest number of agricultural producers and farms. So how can those with torn underpants, patched sleeves and deep in debt think about buying highly sophisticated tractors, drones or combine harvesters?
Rich farmers can afford something like that. When we say wealth, I don’t mean only money, but above all their status in the community, that is, in the state, which is not determined seasonally, one-time or with pre-election campaigns and certain emergency situations. It is acquired through the long-term national strategy of agricultural development. Until that “big bang”, many things will be delayed and limp in Serbian agriculture, most of all, the introduction of modern technologies in all sectors of agriculture, i.e. food production.
5. UNSEEN MIRACLES OCCUPIED THE FAIR
I wouldn’t want to make a dent in anyone, because what could be seen at the jubilee 90th International Agricultural Fair in Novi Sad is reality. A reflection of the moment and an opportunity to see what the trend of agricultural logistics is, without which every serious story about record harvests and good profits falls into the water. The stars of the fair, with all respect for the other contents, were still: the combine “Ideal 8” which arrived from the factory in Italy, which is four meters high and nine meters long with an impressive “header”, i.e. a 12.2 meter long mowing device . This hitherto unseen colossus weighs 24 tons when empty, plus a bunker that can hold 14 tons of harvested crops. That’s why it moves with tracks, but when it goes out on the road, the double wheels are activated.
By the way, this powerful machine is sold at a price of 700,000 euros!
In this year’s glamor of the fair, there was also a robot for vineyards and orchards. It was made by the Germans. With additional devices, this robot picks apples as if by human hands and never the ones that are not ripe, and with the same system, grapes and other fruits. As Ivan Kordik, the representative of the importer, told us, he has so far had three demonstrations in different areas of Serbia and has shown that he is a true substitute for seasonal workers, who are becoming fewer and fewer on the market and who are often unprepared to engage in sensitive work such as harvesting. fruit.
The robot is fully automated and can be successfully operated by an operator who is up to 500 kilometers away from it. The robot picks about 450 kilograms of apples in an hour, so it is not difficult to calculate what its effect is in eight or 10 hours and how many manual workers it replaces. The price of the robot for vineyards and orchards without connections is 68,000 euros…
THE FUTURE IS NOT WRITTEN IN STONE
We have been at odds for a long time. No way to catch up and walk normally. The aforementioned unclear visions and constant exhaustion of the so-called political elite regarding survival and the struggle for power are holding us back. Everything else, supposedly, can wait…
This kind of atrophy is a bad diagnosis. People who love the land, I mean farmers, are increasingly dissatisfied, like Jovica Radovanović, a farmer from the Kragujevac area who, during the May protests, pointed out the great danger that, in a short time, there will be fewer and fewer people who will engage in food production.
On such occasions, the ambitions of how to get a modern device or platform that would help them to catch up with the world faster and better are narrowed. Therefore, it is not surprising that there is a different narrative and atmosphere here in this regard.
I agree with Max Tegmark, the author of the book on artificial intelligence that: “our future is not written in stone”. A local wise farmer would say that they have the inspiration to hang out with modern technologies, but money is nowhere in sight. Or if there are some of them in some quantities, it is at odds with what would truly help them to invite a robot for coffee!!!
Source: Agromedia by www.agromedia.rs.
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