Naturally, the central topic of the International Agricultural Fair is food, and in the times of the post-covid crisis, the crisis in Ukraine and the climate change, it is also a global topic of utmost importance, according to the participants at the FOOD SUMMIT SYSTEM conference, held at the Master Congress Centre, and organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water-management of Serbia. It has been pointed out that the aim was to provide enough food, while respecting the social component, as well as gender equality. 

The UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia, Francoise Jacob, pointed out that more than 30 percent of produced food is thrown away, partly because of the problems with transport, but mostly because restaurants and hotels throw it away. 

– If we managed to save those 30%, we would decrease the quantity of groceries that should be produced and there would be fewer people starving, said Francoise Jacob and added that agriculture was responsible for more than 30 percent of the emission of toxic gases, primarily carbon-dioxide.

It was also said at the conference that both large companies and small farmers were facing various problems related to production. For example, the state advisor for rural development at the Ministry of Agriculture of Northern Macedonia, Trajan Dimkoski, pointed out that the ministry supported both large and small producers, but that it was easier for larger systems to find a way to national and international markets, use new technologies and gain access to EU funds.

     – We focus on small companies and small producers to help them penetrate the local market more easily and we have already had some positive results. I hope that the Open Balkan initiative will help everyone in the food production system and that transport of food products will be made easier, which would benefit us all, Dimkovski said.

    The secretary general of SERBIA ORGANICA, Ivana Simić, pointed out that the growth of organic production in Serbia was noticeable, along with the development of organic cattle breeding, mostly in mountainous regions. She added that meat and meat products from organic production are already present on the market, but that the processing industry was extremely important to organic production.


Agriculture is a dynamic field

Francois Jacob stated that agriculture was often considered a field from the past, but that the data proved those thoughts wrong.

– Agriculture contributes to 14% of the labor market and 7% of the gross national income in Serbia. That is why we wish to encourage the young to pursue education and understand that agriculture is a dynamic field, which could create interesting and original jobs in the future, said Francois Jacob.


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