Serbia can expect 650 million dollars from fruit exports this year

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This year, Serbia could realize a foreign exchange inflow of about 650 million dollars from fruit exports, despite the fact that the yield will be lower by about five percent than last year, said today fruit growing expert Zoran Keserovic, professor at the Faculty of Agriculture in Novi Sad.
He told Beta that the first forecasts were that the yield would be higher by eight to ten percent than in 2019, but that last year’s droughts left bigger consequences on the fruit than expected.
“The drought in July, August and September 2019 damaged the fruit, and this year it has about 30 percent of fruits, especially with plums that were formed as twins and can only be processed,” said Keserovic.
He added that in the first three months of this year alone, Serbia exported about 56,000 tons of apples at an average price of 0.73 euros per kilogram.
He pointed out that in 2019, Serbia achieved a foreign exchange inflow of about 120 million dollars on apple exports alone.
Keserovic said that a fruit yield of 1.2 to 1.3 million tons is expected this year and that fruit will be in demand, and that due to the reduced supply, prices will be high, mostly in the last ten years.
According to him, the state has not done anything to improve the technology of raspberry production, the export of which achieves the largest foreign exchange inflow after the export of wheat.
“Raspberries cannot be grown without irrigation and anti-hail nets, and planting material must not be infected with the virus,” said Keserovic.
According to him, the mistake was made in 2006, when plantations that were infected with the phytophthora virus were destroyed, but no new, virus-free ones were purchased, but raspberries were propagated from the shoots of the existing ones “because Europe will not sell us virus-free planting material”.
“That is the beginning of the collapse of raspberry production,” said Keserovic.
Keserovic pointed out that “the word of experts is not heard in Serbia and that incompetent people are sitting in the Ministry of Agriculture of Serbia because partocracy rules.”
He said that agriculture in Serbia is a strategic branch of the economy and that no one is saying that apple production employs many people.
“It is OK to develop and export information technologies, but whole families make a living from exporting fruit and hiring additional labor,” said Keserovic.
He added that many returnees are interested in investing in intensive fruit production in Serbia, Beta reports.