The budget of the Ministry of Agriculture will be increased through rebalancing by 16.5 billion dinars and will amount to 78.5 billion dinars, Minister of Agriculture Jelena Tanasković said today.
At the session of the Parliamentary Committee, she stated that direct payments, mainly through the Administration for Agrarian Payments, will amount to 15.5 billion dinars.
The minister said that it is planned to give aid to our people in Kosovo and Metohija in the amount of 200 million dinars.
According to her, aid will be paid for sunflower producers by the end of the year, and a decision has already been made on the measure of support for sugar beet producers for next year, which will be 35,000 dinars per hectare.
The budget also provides funds for part of the interest that banks will reprogram through loans, which is one of the supports.
She also announced support of 20 dinars per liter of fuel, which will be implemented by the end of the year, and 15,000 tons of mercantile corn, which will help dairy cow farmers, reports Tanjug.
Dragana Đorđević from the Ministry of Finance said that the allocation of the budget to the Ministry of Agriculture was increased by 26.6 percent through rebalancing.
She said that through the rebalancing, the agricultural budget will be 5.3 percent of the total budget revenues, and that over 37 percent of the total state subsidies through the rebalancing will be for agriculture.
MP Dejan Bulatović said that a time frame must be given for the payment of debts to agricultural producers, as well as when there will be new tenders for state subsidies.
He estimated that many small farms, especially cattle farms, have already been shut down, and assessed that the villages are also shutting down.
He asked the minister about the possibility of returning cattle breeding to Serbia, because now the livestock fund has been decimated.
Bulatović advocated for an increase in commodity subsidies to support animal husbandry, through the donation of animal feed, and pointed out that this aid should also reach those who have a cow or two.
MP Nenad Mitrović said that due to the limitation of the mandate to two years, the conversation can be pointless, because only in the plans of five or more years can something visible be done.
In principle, he assessed that the planned increase is insufficient for agriculture, because the problems are big.
How does the state think that it is developing animal husbandry if it does not have a strong veterinary service in the field, all those engaged in this practice are at an existential minimum, he asked, and warned about the reduction of budgetary allowances for veterinary medicine.
Certain members of the board advocated that the questions raised should not be answered immediately, but that the answers should be given at special meetings of the board that will be organized in the future.
The issues of small subsidies and debts, ie unpaid subsidies, are open.
There were also efforts to increase the budget of the Directorate for Plant Protection.
The question was also raised about the essence of the costs of services under the contract specified in the rebalancing proposal.
“I cannot agree that farmers should not be given, maybe more can be given, and that is not in dispute”, the minister said in response to questions.
She added that with the rebalancing of the Administration for Agrarian Payments, it will reach 61 billion dinars in 2022, and assessed that it is a serious investment.
She invited the MPs to meet at the end of the year to discuss what has been achieved in the meantime.
She announced that she will work intensively in 2023 on the introduction of the e-agrarian system, from which much is expected, Politika writes.