Pristina, 5 March 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Elton Tota
With the signature of the Stabilization and Association Agreement by the government of Kosovo is aiming at boosting the export of agricultural produce to EU countries.
PM Isa Mustafa says that during this period of time, Kosovo needs to increase cooperation between ministers, especially in the domain of the development of agriculture in general.
He says that in the recent years, this sector has marked progress and that efforts are being made in achieving the highest European standards for agriculture products.
“Competent institutions have identified many achievements in the domain of agriculture, especially in the cultivation of farmland, increase of agricultural production, export, etc. We aim at competing in European markets and we’re working on this”, says PM Mustafa.
Meanwhile, minister of Agriculture, Memli Krasniqi says that the government has increased budget for agricultural subsidies.
“In a very short time, there’s been an increase of the number of cattle and 250 people have been employed in the sector of agriculture”, Krasniqi said.
Professor of European Law, Arsim Avdiu told IBNA that Kosovo can only compete with agricultural produce in European markets.
“We are a small market. We cannot compete Europeans with heavy industry or modern technology. Our only opportunity is agriculture. In this aspect, Kosovo’s institutions must increase subsidies and state aid for farmers”, Avdiu said.
He also said that government of Kosovo must raise the awareness of farmers for the importance of European funds for agriculture, rural and regional development.
“Each year, the European Union allocates millions of Euros for the development of agriculture in the Balkan countries. These funds are allocated through IPARD funds, but the majority of farmers are not informed and are not able to apply for these funds which enable the modernization of farmers, slaughter houses, dairy plants, etc.”, Avdiu says. /ibna/