Oil and fertilizer subsidies will be discussed in the coming days because we have to see what will happen in the world, said the Minister of Agriculture
Minister of Agriculture Branislav Nedimović announced yesterday, after the meeting with the representatives of the Initiative for the Survival of Serbian Farmers, that the government will make a decision on the free export of grain at the next session, which was the main demand of farmers.
“What you heard at the president’s press conference is that free grain export will be proposed at the next cabinet meeting, and I informed the association’s representatives about that. We also have some technical matters that we have agreed on regarding agricultural loans and the postponement of lease payments for state agricultural land in areas with extreme drought,” Nedimović told Tanjug after the meeting.
Let us remind you that ever since the introduction of the ban on exports and later the monthly quotas of the association of grain exporters, as well as the producers of refined oil, they insisted that these measures be abolished because, according to their claim, the stocks in silos and warehouses were huge and more than sufficient for domestic consumption. but also export. On the other hand, the representatives of the state said that, based on the control carried out, those stocks are not even close to the quantities that the exporters state and that despite the restrictions, exports were higher than in the same period last year. In the meantime, the state announced the purchase of 131,000 tons of grain for commodity reserves, offering 40 dinars per kilogram, which at that time was about three dinars more than the market price.
When it comes to farmers’ requests for subsidized diesel and mineral fertilizer, Nedimović said that he could not talk about it yet. “We will talk about it in the coming days for the simple reason that we have to see what is happening in the world with oil and fertilizer.” We buy a lot of fertilizer, but we cannot know at what moment we will deliver it, because there are incredible logistical problems in the area of the Danube and we need a little more time to be able to provide concrete solutions”, explained Nedimović.
He added that regarding the demand that the milk premium for the second quarter be the same amount as for the first quarter, it will be discussed in the government and that a position on it will be presented in seven days. He assessed that the meeting was constructive and that it was great that the problems were discussed. “The most important thing is that we talk and find solutions at the table in this strange time of all the events in Ukraine that have an incredible impact on food and energy,” said the Minister of Agriculture.
The president of the Initiative for the Survival of Serbian Farmers, Vukašin Baćina, said after the meeting in the ministry that they received a promise that the minister would ensure that the premium for milk would be 15 dinars per liter again and that they agreed to wait a week so that all promises would be fulfilled. “We will wait to see if the minister will do what he promised, and then we will make a decision if there will be a protest and when.” Now everything depends on what the minister will fulfill, but we are also aware that some things cannot be solved in one day and in one meeting”, said Baćina.
He confirmed that Nedimović offered help to introduce a moratorium on the repayment of loans used by farmers to finance production and that he will try to postpone the payment of the lease of state agricultural land, because the producers cannot pay it due to the drought. “We will push this to the end.” We are interested in systemic solutions and that this is finally resolved, that we do not have to come to Belgrade to ask for help because of every situation. We want to finally bring order to Serbian agriculture”, emphasized Baćina.
He estimated that farmers lose three dinars per kilogram with the current price of wheat. “Anything under 45 dinars per kilogram is small.” So that the farmer can make money, pay off leases and expenses,” Baćina said. He mentioned that Nedimović sent a letter to the Republic Commodity Reserves that they can buy the quota of 131,000 tons of wheat directly from the producer, not from the buyer. He explained that buyers pay farmers 30 dinars per kilogram, and they sell the same wheat to commodity reserves for 40 dinars, which is what the state pays, Politika writes.