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Transformative changes in southern Serbian agriculture: A shift towards electrification

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In southern Serbia, a remarkable transformation is underway in the agricultural sector, marked by a significant increase in annual production. This surge received a considerable boost following the complete electrification of approximately 500 hectares of farmland in 2021, a project funded by the state.

Situated in this region is one of the largest outdoor food production hubs, characterized by hundreds of greenhouses and expansive fields cultivating a variety of crops, including peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and, more recently, watermelons. This agricultural revolution began three years ago when electricity became the primary source of energy, replacing the costly diesel fuel previously used.

Farmers like Marko Pešić from Samarinovac have experienced substantial benefits from this electrification initiative. “The introduction of electricity has been a game-changer for us. It has revitalized our operations, encouraged youth retention, and allowed for more efficient cultivation practices. Watermelon production, in particular, has thrived,” remarks Marko, highlighting the positive impact on their community.

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Similarly, Dragan Pešić, another farmer in the region, has witnessed a shift in his watermelon cultivation practices. “I manage six hectares dedicated to watermelon production. With the current progress, we anticipate entering the market earlier than last year, from June 1 to 5,” shares Dragan, emphasizing the newfound efficiency in their farming methods.

The Milošević family is among the prominent contributors to the region’s agricultural success, operating on over 13 hectares of land. Renowned for their innovative approaches, such as modern nurseries and the introduction of bumblebees for pollination, they exemplify the spirit of progress driving the sector forward.

“We have witnessed significant expansion, particularly in greenhouse facilities, with peppers emerging as a predominant crop. Our deep connection to this land and respect for our heritage motivate us to continue innovating and contributing to its prosperity,” reflects Zoran Milošević, underscoring the importance of preserving tradition while embracing modernization.

Samarinovac stands out not only for its agricultural achievements but also for boasting the highest concentration of young residents in the Toplica region. To sustain this demographic trend, locals advocate for government support, particularly for the completion of the Cultural Center, a longstanding community aspiration.

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