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Serbia: Organic agriculture 2012 at a glance

The National Association Serbia Organica has published, together with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Economic Development Program ACCESS an industry study. A first, similar study, was published in 2011.

Cover "Organic Agriculture in Serbia 2012"

Cover "Organic Agriculture in Serbia 2012"


The industry study "Organic Agriculture in Serbia 2012 at a Glance" reviews the current status of organic agriculture in Serbia and examines the sector in the context of historical developments, future challenges and opportunities.

Back in 1990, the NGO Terra’s established a promotional network of producers, farmers, advisors and academic staff involved in organic food production. Twenty years later, with the support of many domestic and international institutions, ministries, donors and technical organisations, the organic sector in Serbia has attained a respectable base:

  • Several associations promote the organic sector and develop it systemati- cally as lobby organisations.
  • Governmental institutions and min- istries, spearheaded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Water Management monitor and take care of the sector’s needs.
  • About 20 academic institutes, faculties, R&D facilities and affiliated bodies help to design and propagate most appropriate farming and cropping
  • More than eight certification bodies make sure that international rules for organic practices are respected and that the resulting product, manufactured by almost 4,000 farmers and partially processed in about 30 special companies, complies with all international standards and requirements.

Nevertheless, within the context of modernizing the economy in general, the agricultural sector in particular, and the need to shape the agricultural sector in such a way that it can integrate itself into the European Agricultural Policy framework, organic agriculture finds it hard to achieve a satisfactory rate of growth.

On more than 8,000 hectares of agricultural land, a product portfolio mostly consisting of fruits, berries, vegetables, some cereals and some oil crops, generates a farm-gate value of some 25 million Euros.

Most of this product is exported, particularly to the EU, as domestic market development is hampered by the insufficiently increasing purchasing power of consumers.

Demand for organically grown product exists in many countries, and Serbia has excellent conditions to cultivate, in addi-tion to the traditional berries and fruits, organic cereals and oil crops that are high in demand.

So far, however, farms engaged in organic farming need assistance to procure the appropriate machinery, other technical devices and capital, in order to raise production efficiency to levels that ensure their competitiveness on the national, regional, and EU market.

The forthcoming European IPARD program (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance in Rural Development) is, therefore, a major chance for the organic sector in Serbia. By investment support from IPARD, both farmers and processors can begin raising production efficiency and gradually strengthening the country’s role in the European organic industry, building on its existing advantages: the uncontaminated soil, profound and elaborate R&D facilities and education, closeness to product markets, and a long tradition in growing and processing highly sought after products – fruits, berries, cereals and oil crops. 

Source: Summary of "Organic Agriculture in Serbia 2012 at a Glance".

Further information


Sector study Organic Agriculture in Serbia 2012 at a Glance (2.4 MB)

EC.Europa.eu/Agriculture/Enlargement: IPARD


With the Rural Development component of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance - IPA, candidate countries will be assisted through a particular instrument called IPARD - Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance in Rural Development.

The objective of IPARD is two-fold:

  1. to provide assistance for the implementation of the acquis concerning the Common Agricultural Policy
  2. to contribute to the sustainable adaptation of the agricultural sector and rural areas in the candidate country.

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