Milk producers in Serbia said yesterday that the import of milk from the Czech Republic and Poland, in order to compensate for the shortage, will be the final blow to domestic production and animal husbandry. “Milk import is the only way to hide the shortage of that product on the domestic market, but also the problem that exists in the purchase price of milk.” It’s the final blow to animal husbandry”, Dejan Trajković, the owner of a farm from the village of Skorenovac near Pančevo, told Beta.
The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, said three days ago “that there is enough milk and enormous quantities are being bought, without any reason.” “There can’t be enough milk if someone comes in and buys 36 liters of long-lasting milk,” Vučić said, adding that 60 percent of people who are not rich, but not poor either, buy only long-lasting milk and that “Imlek” will import 3,000 tons of milk. from Poland, and “Laktalis” about 6,000 liters from the Czech Republic, during three months.
Trajković pointed out that he does not know who will go to the price difference between 120 dinars, which was the cost of UHT milk with 2.8 percent fat, as a result of the government’s decision to limit the prices of basic foodstuffs, and the new, higher price from last week of 128.99 dinars per liter, as well as the difference in reducing the margin from 12 percent to five percent. He said that the dairy to which he sells milk has not yet offered him a higher price based on the increase in retail prices, and that “he doesn’t have to because the prices are dictated by the largest dairies ‘Imlek’ and ‘Somboled’ and when they don’t raise the price, they don’t “anyone else”. “Because of that problem, we have been asking the state for months to set a minimum, protective price for milk, but we have not received support, with the explanation that it cannot interfere in private business”, Trajković said.
The owner of the farm from the village of Nakovo near Kikinda, Josip Macković, said that he “congratulates” the state on its decision to “disguise” the shortage of milk on the domestic market by importing it from Poland and the Czech Republic. “Domestic milk producers are irrelevant for the state of Serbia, they should not exist. Instead of helping us, they will import milk and encourage production in Poland and the Czech Republic”, said Macković. He added that he has not yet received the premium that was promised after the protest of a month ago and increased from ten dinars to 15 dinars per liter, but only for one quarter. He pointed out that he is increasingly convinced that “the two calves should be taken to the zoo so that children can see that cattle were bred in Serbia.” “The solution to the problem is not in the import of milk, but in helping the domestic livestock industry, because if it is destroyed, not only milk but also meat will be imported, and the soil, which cannot restore humus without animal manure”, said Macković.
According to data based on premium requests, there are about 25,000 farmers in Serbia and they employ about 100,000 people.