IPARD in Serbia and food safety in dairy in Montenegro
First ten contracts under IPARD funds (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance in Rural Development) have been approved on October 23rd! Serbian farmers are finally benefiting from the EU rural development pre-accession funds and are able to renew their agriculture machinery and equipment for primary production in sectors of: fruit; vegetables; meat and milk.
Approval of the first IPARD funds in Serbia
Preparation for IPARD program was long and time consuming. It required some reshuffling in administration but also training of the administrative staff to the EU standards of operation. Thus, successful implementation of IPARD represents a milestone which enables Serbia to become part of a common European agricultural policy.
With utilization of IPARD funds Serbian agriculture will become more competitive and better prepared for demanding European market. Serbian Minister for Agriculture announced third call for IPARD incentives by the end of November.
Food safety in dairy production in Montenegro
Montenegro is not very big country but its market exceeds its size by several times due to the coastal area and the millions of tourists that come every year.
Farmers in mountainous country are usually small scale farmers which continuously need to think about ways to add value to their (primary) products. On farm production of traditional types of cheeses and placing those cheeses on the tables of exclusive hotels and restaurants is one of the ways these farmers can benefit more from dairy production.
An expert from the Dairy Training Center Oenkerk gave a lecture about food safety aspects of production of cheeses on a farm level to many farmers, often driving down from their farm in the mountains. Vivid discussions took place and follow ups are to be expected. Montenegro Food Safety authorities financially support dairy farmers but request EU standards in food production and safety in order to be present at the market.
Cheese production is important for the development of rural areas and it certainly adds to diversification of the activities at farm level but food safety remains an issue.Hence this bilateral cooperation is welcomed.