In the region of Šumadija and Western Serbia, vegetables, melons and strawberries are grown on an area of 15,379 hectares, which, according to the data of the Republic Bureau of Statistics, is 30.69 percent of the total production in Serbia. According to the type of data, in the Kolubara district, which belongs to this region, vegetables, watermelons and strawberries occupy 1,047 hectares.
When we talk about vegetable production in the Kolubara district, we primarily mean municipality of Ub, considering that the largest number of vegetable producers is located on the territory of this municipality.
The municipality of Ub is best known for zucchini and kohlrabi
According to Svetlana Jerinić from the Agricultural Advisory and Expert Service “Valjevo”, this municipality occupies significant place on the vegetable map of Serbia because there are vegetables in this part of the Kolubara district a very long tradition and all knowledge and experience are passed down from generation to generation.
“The largest areas under vegetables, both outdoors and in greenhouses, are located in villages Sovljak and Brezovice. Of the total number of farms living in these villages, over 80 percent deals with them and lives exclusively from vegetable production. The most common cultures are zucchini, keleraba, cabbage, that is, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, leeks, and in many greenhouses, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers are also grown. The municipality of Ub is also the most famous in Serbia for zucchini and kohlrabi, because they are the largest amounts of this vegetable they produce in Sovljak and Brezovice “, says our interlocutor.
As for the market, most growers sell their vegetables large retail chains. A number of producers also sell to local stores, and a part to the quantum market in Valjevo and Belgrade.
The farms in Uba were taken over by younger producers
“Given that a large percentage of returnees sell their products to large retail chains, they must also fulfill them certain requirements regarding respect for plant protection and health, harvesting and storage hygiene, respecting the maximum permitted pesticide content in fruits and the like. Accordingly, many producers decide to introduce standards, such as Global Gap for their production, as well as the application of biological protection measures against the most important diseases and pests, “says Jerinić, advisor for vegetables and farming.
She adds that it is noticeable that the farms have mostly taken over younger producers who realized that without respect for the profession, acquisition of new knowledge and technologies and introduction into production, there is no good production and stable market.
There were attempts in the area of the Ub municipality producer associations in associations and agricultural cooperatives, but according to Svetlana Jerinić did not come to life, and as a reason he states that farmers have a lot of work in their production and do not have time to deal with the business of the cooperative, which means finding a market, contracting production, procurement of cheaper raw materials.
“The formation of a cooperative that would bring together a large number of vegetable producers and the construction of refrigerators for storing vegetables, would largely contributed to development vegetables not only in the municipality of Ub, but in the entire Kolubara district “, Jerinić points out.
Vegetable production brings in all significant revenues
As for the villages on the territory of the town of Valjevo and the municipalities of Lajkovac, Ljig, Mionica and Osecina, vegetable production is not significantly developed and is reduced mainly to smaller areas under greenhouse production.
Farms engaged in vegetable production in smaller greenhouses mostly sell their goods on their stalls at green markets or small local markets.
Otherwise, vegetable production in Serbia from year to year brings producers increasingly significant revenues, and the data that only in 2019 the value of this production reached the figure of 43.7 billion dinars.
We exported from this production to the world that year 181.000 tons of vegetables worth 116 million euros, while imports from 148,000 tons worth it 98 million euros.
Data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management show that in 2020 we exported in total 48.474.529 kilograms of frozen vegetables in value 38,524,000 euros. Followed by dried vegetables in the amount of 4.665.773 kilograms worth of 22,616,000 euros.
That Serbian vegetables are in demand on the foreign market is also shown by the fact that in 2010 1.388.326 kilograms gherkin cucumbers exported to 500,159 euros, and ten years later 21.301.572 pounds of this vegetable for even 11.1 million euros.
In addition, Serbia exports report so it has been sold over the past year 1.694.829 kilograms earned 2.1 million euros, and in 2010, that export was a little more than 387,000 kilograms and was worth 80,228 euros.
Source: Agromedia by www.agromedia.rs.
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