Growth in production and increased product placement were realized during the tourist season, which is a result of better connectivity between hoteliers and domestic food producers, the Chamber of Agriculture and Food Industry (PKCG) board announced.
Committee secretary Lidija Rmus, who presented information on economic trends, said that the increase in production and increased product placement in the tourist season was partly the result of the realization of the projects Buy Domestic and Domestic Tastes.
"The tourist offer increasingly includes the traditional gastronomic offer of Montenegro when presenting our country," Rmus said.
During the first eight months of this year, the purchase and sale of agricultural, forestry and fishery products amounted to EUR 23.4 million, and is at the same level as last year. By August, 16.1 million liters of milk were purchased, 3.4 percent less, but the production of all milk products increased, which has a positive effect on the financial results of this sector.
According to Monstat, PKCG said food production increased 4.6 percent in eight months and 8.9 percent in beverages.
During the session, it was assessed that the biggest problem faced by the agrarian was the lack of competitiveness of the product. That is why the goal of food producers is to increase the volume of production and the competitiveness of products, which can enable better placement of domestic products, and the business barriers they face in business need to be removed.
Speaking about the investments in agriculture that were completed in the current year, Rmus said that the company “Nase voce” (Our Fruits) has established an apple plantation on 15 hectares in Zupa - Niksic, and plans to build a five-hectare cherry plantation and new apple plantations on an area of 15 ha, as well as the construction of a juice production facility.
"This production will have a significant impact on the substitution of apple imports," Rmus added.
The processing plant with a capacity of about 60 thousand hams (prosciutto) is being built in the company Zrnozit, the construction of a new slaughterhouse in Mesopromet, and a meat processing plant is in the final stage.
She stated that it is significant that the water factory Bjelasica Rada started production again, and in Savnik, within the company, Eko-per Diva, started a new bottling plant. A new 600-ton cold-storage in Plantaze has been put into operation.
In the first eight months, imports of agri-food products amounted to EUR 391 million, with exports amounting to EUR 28.2 million, so the export-import ratio was 7.2 percent. Imports grew by 6.4 percent from the same period last year, and exports are down six percent.
Committee Chairman Milutin Djuranovic said that the drop in the coverage of imports by exports is worrying, because it is not insignificant, so in the coming period, we must work on strengthening the competitiveness even more.
Board member Amela Visnjic from Visnjic Commerce pointed to the problem of extremely high imports of eggs sold as domestic, which creates problems for business people.
Boris Covic from Bonesa advocated greater investment in technology because it is an expensive product and stressed the need to reduce and even eliminate protectionism in all industries.
Nikola Milosevic from Eko-per Diva believes that they need to be more active in selling domestic water in shops and hotels.
"We have to fight for at least 50 percent of the water in the shops to be domestic, which would increase our production by 20 percent," Milosevic said.
He added that 70 percent of imported water is now being sold in stores, and only 30 percent is domestic.
In order to eliminate the constraints that entrepreneurs face in business, it is necessary to work on the amendment of several normative acts that regulate their business. These are laws on companies, labor, excise duties, value-added tax, debt collection, and fiscalisation.
At the session, it was assessed that the implementation of the national campaign for the purchase of domestic products should be continued with the aim of raising consumer awareness and creating an environment for better positioning of Montenegrin products, which will directly contribute to the reduction of imports.
Also, when designing the Agrobudget, through the subsidies, the dairy sector, which faces very strong competition from the region, should be preserved and the quality control of imported products strengthened.
The session announced that IPARD funds are intended to strengthen the capacity of the agricultural sector, make it competitive and comply with EU rules, standards and practices.
General Director of the Directorate for Rural Development, Darko Konjevic, said that during the past year, two public tenders had been issued from IPARD for investments in agricultural holdings and processing capacities, which are underway.
“Through the first IPARD to support farms, by the end of July, 221 contracts worth EUR 13.5 million were signed. Twenty contracts worth 11.9 million were signed in the processing. The realization of investments in processing capacities will open about 80 new and provide security of placements for about seven thousand subcontractors," Konjevic reminded.
At the beginning of September of the current year, a second public invitation from IPARD for investments in processing capacities was launched.
“There is now a new € 15.6 million grant available to domestic processors to support investments to improve production. The sectors of processing of milk, meat, fruits and vegetables, olives, fish and aquaculture, as well as wine production, will be supported," Konjevic added.
The public invitation is open until November 4th. Konjevic announced that this deadline would be extended due to the interest of the businessmen and that at the end of this year, a second public invitation for investment in agriculture would be issued.
Konjevic also announced that another invitation for processing would be issued in the coming year.
Text by MINA Business on October 21st, 2019, read more at Vijesti