Ministry of Agriculture: 2013 sees increase of organic food producers in Montenegro

Ministry of Agriculture: 2013 sees increase of organic food producers in Montenegro

Farmers in Montenegro have shown an increased interest in organic production in recent years, which is corroborated by the increase in the number of organic food manufacturers and the number of certified producers, the Ministry of Agriculture says.

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development notes that in 2006 there were seven registered organic producers, whereas there were 160 manufacturers in 2013, of which 21 certified. The Ministry mentions two important measures acting as stimuli for organic production in 2013. These are the strengthening of agriculture’s competitiveness in Montenegro through improving product quality, and the sustainable management of natural resources.

Certified organic producers are supported with EUR 200 per claim, whereas direct payments per hectare or per head of livestock amounted to EUR 150 per ha for crops and cultivation of medicinal plants; EUR 250 per ha for vegetables, orchards, and seed and planting material, etc. A total of 134 manufacturers received measures from the 2013 agricultural budget for organic farming, amounting to EUR 78,728.

In its activities aimed at promoting organic production, the Ministry of Agriculture, in cooperation with local governments, organised 18 workshops for farmers throughout Montenegro, in order to familiarise them with the basic principles of organic crop and livestock production, as well as the law in this area. The farmers were mostly interested in the topics related to the amount of subsidies, the market placing, the achievement of higher prices, the legal procedure, possibility of procurement of inputs, the permitted means of protection, and prevention and treatment of domestic animals.

Ministry of Agriculture uses its financial and educational support with the view to encouraging as many farmers to enter into the process of certification of organic production. With this end in mind, a slight increase in support for the 2014 agricultural budget is planned, as well as more extensive public information campaign.