Innovations as a Tool for Faster Development of Rural Communities in Serbia

How to motivate small family farms to enter into partnership relations in order to secure better entrance to local and regional markets? Is LEADER a good framework for solving problems of small farms? How to improve regulatory framework and what could be done by improving everyday business practice? What are potential sources of financing?

These are just some of the issues to be opened on the first gathering of small farms representatives and their associations, representatives of towns and municipalities, national associations and regional agencies „Innovating for Rural Development in Serbia – Learning from Polish Experiences“ which is organized on the initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management in cooperation with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities and will take place on 23 April in Hotel Metropol, starting at 10.30. The conference is organized under the project „Support to the Rural and Regional Development to the Republic of Serbia“ financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC and implemented by a consortium of partners – NIRAS, Polish Rural Forum and Partner Solutions.

The conference aims to explore development potentials of rural areas by creating partnerships within the LEADER framework, and to discuss potentials of promoting shortened food chains as a tool for small farmers to access local and regional markets. The conference will be attended by the team of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Republic of Poland, led by Mr. Ryszard Zarudzki, Deputy State Secretary. Mr. Zarudzki and his team will share experiences of Poland in the accession process as well as after joining the EU, while the Serbian team will be led by the State Secretary, Mr. Senad Mahmutović.

Taking into account that majority of households in Serbia belong to the group of small farms which are not eligible for the EU funding, as well as that the regulatory framework and business environment are not providing favourable conditions for their development, the topic is very important for the future of most of the Serbian rural population. One of development potentials for small family farms lies in shortening food supply chains as a way to access local and regional market with fewer intermediaries allowing them to keep more profit and increase incomes.

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Conference in media is available here.

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