Serbia – Fruit exports increased by 30%

Photo illustration: Unsplash (Jonathan Mast)

The first international gathering of berry growers “Berry Business Forum” was held in Belgrade. State Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, Velimir Stanojevic, at the opening of this gathering, pointed out that Serbia records a constant growth of production and exports in the fruit sector.

“There are almost 40,000 hectares under berry orchards in Serbia, which have almost doubled compared to 10 years ago, and the quality and quantity of production is improving,” Stanojevic pointed out, adding that in the first nine months of this year, berry exports by 30 percent higher than the same period last year, which was also a record.

During 2020, berries were exported for 338 million euros, which is 19.4 percent more than the value of exports in 2019, and only raspberries worth 260 million, and it accounts for 40 percent of total fruit exports from Serbia.

Stanojevic added that in addition to standard fruits, such as raspberries and blackberries, in the past few years there has been an expansion of blueberry plantations, under which there are now 3,000 hectares. Last year, the Ministry gave 200 million dinars for incentives for raising plantations of this fruit species, which was enough for 150 hectares of new blueberry plantations.

He noted that the demand for berries on the world market is growing and assessed that Serbia must work on increasing competitiveness, branding, introduction of modern fruit growing technologies and introduction of mechanized harvesting where necessary.

“We have to perform under the Serbia brand, to offer products with protected geographical origin, such as Arilje raspberries. The state will use its incentives to help producers to plant orchards with certified planting material, but also to strengthen and expand storage capacities, “said Stanojevic.

He added that producers can use funds from the national budget, from the IPARD program through measures 1 and 3, and from this year through the World Bank’s competitive agriculture program.

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

USAID Mission Director in Serbia Susan Fritz reminded that the organization of the US Government supports the production of fruits and vegetables in Serbia in order to become as competitive as possible.

“We are cooperating with producers and processors to increase exports and earnings. Here we will talk to berry growers to hear about new technologies and trends, new investment opportunities. “This project fits into one of the goals of USAID’s work in Serbia, and that is the creation of new jobs and the fastest possible economic development, especially in rural areas,” said Susan Fritz.

Dutch Ambassador Joost Reintjes said his government believes Serbia has great potential in agriculture, especially in the production of berries, which are of very high quality and can also be found in Dutch stores.

“The Netherlands, as a highly developed agricultural country, the second largest exporter in the world after the United States, can offer assistance. That is why our institutes, universities, the Government and, most importantly, the companies are there, “said Ambassador Reintjes.

The forum, organized by Agro Belgrade at the Belgrade Fair and with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, USAID’s Competitive Economy Project and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is attended by 120 berry producers from all over Serbia.

Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management


Source: Energetski portal Srbije by www.energetskiportal.rs.

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