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Contracts for grant support to agro-processing sector through IPARD like 2.2 call signed in Žabljak

Contracts for grant support to agro-processing sector through IPARD like 2.2 call signed in Žabljak
Published date 30.08.2017 17:42 | Author PR Service

Ispis Print

Žabljak, Montenegro (30 August 2017) -- Owners of processing plants from the agricultural sector, 31 of them, signed today the contracts on grant support for investments through IPARD like 2.2 public call. By implementing supported projects in the food processing sector, a total of EUR 4.8 million will be invested, for which EUR 2.2 million of grants from the EU funds and national budget are provided.

It is about one of four public calls through the IPARD like project, which is intended exclusively for processing in the agricultural sector, with an emphasis on improving the standards of food safety. Grants are provided from EU/IPA funds, with national co-financing. The project is implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in cooperation with the World Bank.

According to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Milutin Simović, these investments will mean a new value in the agricultural sector, growth in competitiveness and the acquisition of new markets, of which tourism is the biggest chance, as well as the preparation for a match on a demanding EU market.

It is precisely the chance in tourism, and exports to the doorstep, which determined the results of this call to be promoted in Žabljak, as Minister Simović said. "We are witnessing this year's record results in tourism, and Žabljak is one of the leaders in this field. This is why we are in Žabljak today to promote new investments in food processing. This is an opportunity to recall the scope of the tourist season in this town, point to a growth of 63 percent compared to last year and prospects facing the tourism and food production. Such a trend of growth represents the benefits of a long-term vision of development and state policy in the integration processes. One should not be too analytical to conclude that this growth is the result of the completed process, the historical step forward of Montenegro – membership in NATO. This is the progress towards which Montenegro has come in by responsible and strategic planning and work. This is a road that we will continue until the next integration step forward – EU membership."

The chance to improve the business with the grant support through IPARD like 2.2. was given to legal entities, entrepreneurs and primarily producers from the sector related to milk, fisheries and agriculture. Users of plant and mushroom sectors could be those involved in processing of fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, aromatic herbs, olive oil and other products of olive and wine. Support was also given to individuals or cattle breeding companies. The processors could invest a minimum of EUR 15,000 and a maximum of EUR 250,000. Grant support is 50 percent of eligible investment.

During his address to the signatories of the agreement, Minister Simović adressed them individually as well, elaborating the development path of each producer, giving suggestions for further business improvement, especially emphasising the importance of cooperation with individual agricultural producers. „I hope that you already feel the benefits of support that comes through this project from two addresses – the EU and the Government of Montenegro,“ Minister Simović said.

The key message of Minister Simović is that all together should continue to cooperate together, in partnership, responsibly, encompassing as many users as possible, with particular regard to regional needs, encouraging the primary sector and processing, raising competitiveness, opening up new jobs, sustainably using resources, winning the most demanding food and quality standards, improving quality of life and business conditions in rural areas. According to him, the Government, the agricultural producers, the EU and other international partners will work together on this, in order to maximise the use of significant financial support provided from several sources for Montenegrin agriculture.

Speaking about the significant financial resources provided to support the agricultural sector and the development of rural areas (IPARD, IFAD, ADMAS, the new MIDAS, Agrobudget, IRF funds), Minister Simović said that it is about EUR 250 million that will be directed at Agriculture in the next four-year period.

Representative of the EU Delegation in Montenegro Esmanne Benoit addressed the signatories of contracts, expressing satisfaction with the promotion of yet another successfully implemented project of the EU and the Government of Montenegro, which shows good cooperation and justification of support projects for Montenegrin farmers. He said that the project is important in several aspects, primarily improving the business cooperation of entities in the area of improving food safety standards and increasing production, as well as opening opportunities for inclusion of individual farmers and the development of rural areas through the labor employment. He added that such projects significantly contribute to improving the level of food safety in Montenegro and preserving the environment, which ultimately means the growth of the competitiveness of producers and the state itself.