The 7th Agricultural Forum “Food for Europe”
The 7th Agricultural Forum “Food for Europe” organized by the Economics Institute and the Serbian Association of Agricultural Economists was held in Vrdnik, November 16-18, gathering scientific and practical experts. Representatives from the government, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU), Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (PKS), agricultural and food companies and cooperatives took part in the Forum discussing the subject of “smart agriculture”.
At the opening ceremony, the director of the Economics Institute Dragan Šagovnović announced the creation of a Study on economic and social development in Serbia until 2040, in collaboration with SANU and the leading field experts.
The participants in the “Food for Europe” Forum were addressed by Branislav Nedimović, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, who said that the main routes that the Ministry will be taking in 2018 are the legal regulation of subventions for agriculture, opening laboratories for the quality control of food, and investing in the processing industry and agricultural production in line with the market demand, in addition to a significant budget increase – RSD 40.8 billion.
The president of the SANU Village Committee Dragan Škorić discussed rural development and pointed out that, in addition to the negative demographic trend, one of the key issues with present day villages and their economic situation is the fragmentation of owned land. Ivan Nikolić, PhD, the director for research and development at the Economics Institute, presented the situation in the food industry and drew attention to the fact that although it makes up 23% of the processing industry, the food industry does not sufficiently contribute to Serbia’s economic growth due to the lack of additional value. The message of the panel discussion led by local businessmen was that agriculture needs stronger strategic assistance in order for the contribution of agriculture to the economic development and the growth of national gross income to become more significant.
Victoria Group, the traditional partner of the Agricultural Forum “Food for Europe”, was represented by Natalija Kurjak, Marketing Director at Victoria Logistic, and Tamara Veselinović, PR Manager at Victoria Group.