Increasing prices, supporting farmers, changing grant schemes, changing policies, supporting agricultural inputs, exporting and importing basic products, changing labor schemes, natural disasters in the agricultural sector, are just a few of the points that were discussed at the Tuesday Salon held yesterday.
Invited to discuss about these topics were: Iliriana Miftari, professor at the Faculty of Agriculture, Skender Berisha, Coordination Officer at the Department of Economic Analysis and Agricultural Statistics, and Egzon Bajrami, agro-economist and author of the Study on Price Fluctuations of Agricultural Products and Basic Basket in the Last Decade. Whereas, it was moderated by Agnesa Qori, journalist.
Iliriana Miftari stated that although the Ministry of Agriculture is trying to address the problems and requests of farmers, these requests are many, but the means are small. While she has emphasized that if we look at the countries of the European Union, the first action they have taken is the export restriction measure.
In addition, Miftari emphasized that agriculture has been a strategic sector of the country, but the strategic contribution should be greater. She said that support for agricultural inputs is not recommended, until we face many obstacles and this should not be an adequate policy.
What Miftari also mentioned is also the medicinal aromatic plants in Kosovo, which are very promising. But, the problem is that the budget or support given to this sub-sector is very small, therefore the interest in dealing with this sub-sector is also very small.
A special emphasis has also been given to various schemes for the workforce, where it has been recommended that centers for a larger workforce should be created. To do this, a new design should be done, since the farmer in Kosovo is in the aging process because agriculture for young people is not attractive, therefore it should be considered that some schemes such as digitization in agriculture, is one of the ways for the future, to include young people in the agricultural sector.
Whereas, Skender Berisha said that the Ministry of Agriculture has a much bigger budget now than ever. However, it has been estimated that this year the natural damages were much smaller than in previous years. Berisha has mentioned that horticulture and all sectors of agriculture have potential for development in Kosovo, but the fact that land degradation is happening, is not only the fault of the Ministry of Agriculture, but it’s the fault of the municipality also, because the municipality gives permission and there is a lack communication between these two. Berisha has also mentioned that agriculture takes a lot of manpower during harvesting, and according to experts it’s recommended to make smaller plots and this type of policy should not be made without thinking more about it.
Egzon Bajrami said that the Pandemic and the War in Ukraine have influenced the increase in prices, and the panic created during the pandemic was one of the reasons for the increase of agricultural products. He also added that insufficient production is another factor that affects the increase in prices, which also causes imports.
In addition, Bajrami added that the input subsidy should be considered for all agricultural sectors, which during the discussion was also mentioned that the ministry should harmonize agricultural policies with European Union policies.
During the salon, it was also emphasized that in order to encourage people to work the agricultural land, a comprehensive policy should be made and the biggest problem that Kosovo has in agriculture is the vision for the agricultural sector, and the first step that should be taken is the meeting with some experts to discuss about how we see agriculture in 10 years.
This salon is organized with the support of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES)