Agricultural budget increasing in the next year

The agricultural budget for next year will be better because the state will give favourable loans to agricultural producers, Serbian Minister of Finance Mladjan Dinkic said today.

During a visit to the estate of Janko Medvedja, a farmer from Begac near Futog, Dinkic recalled that this year’s agricultural budget was 19 billion dinars, and that almost 4 billion dinars was set aside for loans to more than 25,000 producers.

He added that some 1.5 billion dinars in short-term loans were approved for 23,500 producers, while 2.5 million dinars was set aside for long-term loans for more than 1,700 producers.

The Minister of Finance and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Ivana Dulic-Markovic are visiting today the municipalities of Novi Sad, Odzaci and Sombor and the farms that received long-term loans from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Dinkic said that 730 million dinars in grants will be used for measures to improve the villages, and this year the ministry paid out the compensations to farmers from the flooded areas in Central Banat.

Dinkic reiterated that the planned agricultural budget for 2006 exceeds 23 billion dinars, and added that the investment support to agricultural producers launched through short-term and long-term loans will be continued next year.

During a visit to the estate of Sima Davidov in the Deronje village near Odzak, Dulic-Markovic stressed that in 2006, the ministry will divide farms into commercial and non-commercial.

She explained that the commercial are those that can survive on the market, and the non-commercial are the elderly households and those similar to them that need direct help from the state to survive.

She said the condition for offering assistance to elderly households is that they register as non-commercial estates, that the members of the household are older than 55 years and that they have been paying funds the Pension and Disability Insurance (PIO) Fund for 10 years. If they fulfil these conditions, each member of the household will receive 40,000 dinars.

Dulic-Markovic said funds for that purpose will be secured by redirecting funds from the premiums for sunflower and soybean.