EU member states willing to provide concrete assistance to Montenegro's agriculture

EU member states willing to provide concrete assistance to Montenegro's agriculture

Montenegro’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Petar Ivanović participated in the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2014 in Berlin on 18-19 January, where he attended debates on future development of agricultural production and recent trends in food production.

The expert panel, sponsored by the German Economy Eastern Committee, addressed rural development, agro - tourism, financing development programs, use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture and changes in the global market of agricultural products.

At the sidelines of the forum, Minister Ivanović met with Reiner Lindner, Executive Director of the Eastern Committee of German Economy, to discuss economic cooperation between the two countries in the field of agriculture. Minister Ivanović stressed the importance of strengthening the manufacturing industry, especially the food and the timber industries.

Montenegro’s Agriculture Minister and his Finnish counterpart Jari Koskinen discussed in Berlin possibilities of developing and investing in the forestry and wood processing, agricultural production, and food safety. Minister Koskinen offered assistance in developing food safety systems and training programmes for Montenegro’s personnel in the field of forestry, as well as technical assistance in drafting strategic documents in the process of harmonisation with the EU legislation. Given that Finland is one of the leaders in the field of food safety and consumer protection, Minister Ivanović voiced willingness to strengthen bilateral cooperation in this field, especially in terms of education of the Montenegrin experts in the process of sampling, analysing and monitoring the food safety chain, as well as in providing the necessary equipment.

PR BureauMeeting between Minister Ivanović and his Slovenian counterpart Dejan Zidan pointed out the importance of developing the agricultural sector through linking it with tourism in which both countries have significant potential. Both sides agreed on cooperation in the field of beekeeping, in which Slovenia has achieved considerable progress. Minister Ivanović endorsed his Slovenian counterpart’s idea of Montenegro’s participation in the "Honeymoon breakfast", which is organised annually and aims to promote the beekeeping sector.

Minister Ivanović also met in Berlin with Estonian Minister of Agriculture Valdor Seeder. The two ministers agreed cooperation in terms of education in the field of food safety and students exchange. Minister Seeder expressed willingness to support development of electronic systems, which in case of Estonia resulted in a significant reduction in the loss of time in the agricultural sector. He accepted Minister Ivanović’s invitation to visit Montenegro in 2014, and to assist in organising meetings of business perople of the two countries, which would be an opportunity to promote new investment, technology and development of the agricultural sector.

Minister Ivanović also met with Greek Minister of Rural Development and Food Athanasios Tsaftaris. Minister Athanasios pledged full assistance to Montenegro in the process of harmonisation the Chapter 13 - Fisheries, which is of great significance as Greece has taken over the presidency of the EU for six months. Minister Ivanović expressed his gratitude for the support given the importance of this sector in Greece, which has become a global leader in the export of aquaculture products. The meeting agreed on concrete support in terms of fishing infrastructure in the coastal areas and freshwater fisheries, as well as support for developing the aquaculture in Montenegro.