Serbia: save the raspberries
The raspberry development platform in Serbia from 2022 to 2025 has been announced. At the invitation of raspberry grower groups, raspberry growers from Raška region, Kolubara district, Čačak, Ivanjica, Osečine, Arilje, Vranje, Vranjska Banja grouped into cooperatives and producer associations, met in Belgrade at the end of September to form a working group that would create a “raspberry development platform in Serbia 2022 – 2025”.
This should be done with the help of experts in the field of fruit growing, Professors Dr. Zoran Keserović from the Faculty of Agriculture in Novi Sad, Milan Prostran, an agro-economic analyst and an associate from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ms Vesna Radojičić. The platform will focus on the professionalization of the raspberry industry in Serbia and will be in contact with the government of Serbia.
According to the participants, the meeting was held at the right time – at the time of the formation of the new government and at the time when the export of Serbian raspberries to Germany, the largest importer of Serbian berries, decreased significantly.
Mr. Nikola Mihailović, President of the Union of Cooperatives of Serbia, and Mr. Božo Joković, Director of the agricultural cooperative “Agro Eko Voće”, explained how to proceed in the production of raspberries. The topics of berry prices, quality seedlings, new cultivation technologies and how to market raspberries so that growers and exporters are satisfied were discussed. “We had a turbulent decade behind us. The only bright spot was in 2021 when global demand for raspberries was high and the price was adequate. Guided by these facts, Serbian producers believed that this year would also be successful. However, weather conditions have not been favorable this year. From the cold spring to heavy downpours, input prices rose dramatically, raspberries weren’t selling like the previous year due to the global economic situation, and farmers never had production costs higher than this. year,” said Jonel Subić, PhD of the Institute of Agricultural Economics.
In addition to all these problems in Serbia, there is also the problem of maintaining the quality of the plantations, which Professor Keserović spoke about. “We are all aware that raspberries will play a big role in the economic development of Serbia. We must work on technologies adapted to climate change. It is not possible to continue the production of raspberries with no more than one percent of the plantations under hail protection. nets and three to four percent of plantations with irrigation systems. We need to change this in order to have higher yields and stop ‘staring at the sky’,” Professor Keserović said.