The priority of the DSS program is to bring back the subventions for agriculture above 5 percent of the budget since they have been sliced in half since the arrival of the current government. The financial support to agriculture will be devoted to the subventions of the products in order to incite interest for higher yields. It will also be devoted to cutting the prices of equipment. Special support programs will be geared towards strengthening the infrastructure of producers who have export potential.
Serbia, by the percentage of arable land (4,225,203 acres or about 50 percent), by capita engaged in agriculture (about 500 thousand directly) and the share of agriculture in GDP creation of over 10 percent, is an agricultural land.
The achieved level of spending on agriculture in the budget was during DSS’s involvement in the government above 5 percent, while in 2009 allocations were half that. The implementation of our program will provide that the achieved level of allocation will be realized already in the next two years.
Financial support to agriculture cannot be dependent only on the treated area, but also focused on placing premiums of products, in order to foster interest in higher yields, then the reduction in price of raw materials and necessary equipment, a special program of support should be aimed at strengthening the infrastructure of manufacturers with export potential.
The regular direction of support and encouragement of competition on the purchase side will provide subsidies for those who produce and use, instead of those who trade in products.
To make improvements in this sector important, it is necessary:
- To provide grants for the improvement of production, based on the calculation of long-term gains from increasing production output and employment in rural areas
- The substitution of imported agricultural products with domestic production and processing, on the basis of focused subsidies to certain manufacturers
- Strengthening competitiveness and export growth of high quality local products on the market in the region and the European Union.
- Construction of an organized system and chain of agricultural production, processing and marketing
DSS proposes reforms in three stages: In the first phase, existing subsidies based on the surface would be reduced, and the funds redirected towards investments that will make agriculture more competitive (loans, subsidies to inputs, subsidies to exports). In the next phase of reform, will be reduced input subsidies, as this will require of Serbia, upon its accession to the WTO and during EU accession. The programs for awarding grants will be increased, but focused on the development of the villages, in the same way it is done in the EU, and the use of appropriate structural funds, which will result in further weakening of the relationship between state support and the decision on what manufacturers will produce. In the third phase, the support systems will likely be concentrated on the system of payment per unit area and related to different environmental criteria, but will not in any way be related to the decisions of producers and what they will produce.
Balanced regional rural development: DSS is committed to a policy of balanced regional rural development based on the realization of strategic objectives in the field of:
- Establishing a national network for rural development (legal framework, institutions and local presence)
- Replenishment and demographic development of rural areas
- Ensuring the competitiveness of agricultural and food sector
- Protecting natural resources and environment
The importance of agriculture in Serbia is obviously higher than in other countries, however, in measures of economic policies that are associated this cannot be recognized. As agriculture, in some parts of the country, is one of the few economic sectors from which we can expect growth in employment and income in the short term, it is time that agriculture gets the most privileged position of the industry!