In 1990 the Association Terras was established by producers, farmers, advisors, and professors in the municipality of Subotica. This NGO started to work as a part of the Open University and did a number of actions with the objective of promoting organic farming and a network of the municipality, similar NGOs in the region, and the Ministry. The main problem was that these actions were related just to the Subotica municipality or the Vojvodina region.
Between 1991 and 2000 economic sanctions on Serbia introduced by the international community blocked any serious development of organic agriculture. In 2000, a law on organic production was announced. This law provided that authorized organizations, including state inspectors, could make inspections, and that the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management was the single authority that could issue certificates. The Ministry had neither the human nor the technical capacity to implement the law, and bad organizational solutions blocked any private initiative in the development of organic production.
The year 2000 saw an end to the economic sanctions. Immediately after the democratic government was elected, a number of investors, buyers, projects, and donors came to Serbia and brought investments, knowledge, projects, organization, export market possibilities, etc. Most of them recognized the potential of organic production and strongly supported its establishment. New organic associations were created, such as farmers’ associations and local and regional associations for rural development, regional cooperation, and promotion of organic production. Foreign buyers and investors organized local companies and farmers to work according to organic principles, and several companies started to work with organic production for export. The main problem with such support was that no one was interested in the small farmers of the rural areas producing for local markets. The buyers were focused on export products.
A part of the new law was announced in 2002 and a national conference was organized with the objective of promoting organic farming and bringing all local initiatives together. The Ministry organized training in 2003 for potential organic farmers. At a new national conference in 2004, the main conclusion was that the state should adopt new legislation for organic production. After this conference, the government established subsidies for organic production and a committee was authorized to prepare a draft of a new organic law. Another decision was that it was too early to build an organic farmers’ association. The new law on organic production and organic products was announced in July 2006. (Author: Senad Hopic)
Organic Case Studies in Serbia
Early Market Development for Organic in Serbia
Regulatory Framework for Organic in Serbia
Organization, Support, and Lessons Learned in Serbia
IFOAM is constantly updating the information on this website. Comments or suggestions contact the Platform Coordinator
Back to the Growing Organic main page