The potential of Serbia in the field of agriculture is such that many see great perspective for the development of our country in this branch of economy. In order to realize it, it is necessary to create conditions in local communities for the more efficient use of that potential. With that goal in mind, several projects are under way in Leskovac, southern Serbia. Suzana Mitic has more on the subject.
The Green Zone project is one of the capital undertakings in the Leskovac territory. At issue is a big warehouse and distribution center for agrarian products, and for that purpose, the Serbian Government has granted 100 hectares of land. The communal fitting of the complex is ongoing, while the financial support was provided by the Serbian Government and the EU, with half a million euros each. Mayor of leskovac Slobodan Kocic told our radio that there ware also interested investors.
“Four companies have already expressed interest and they wait for us to fit the infrastructure in that part of the Green Zone, so they can start building their facilities. What makes me especially happy is that we are talking partnerships of foreign companies, mostly from Germany and Italy, with the ones from Leskovac. Of course, the subject is processing capacities in agriculture, which is particularly important in the context of agriculture being our developmental chance”, emphasizes Kocic.
With the opening of foreign companies’ plants, many unemployed people in this part of Serbia will get jobs, and also eliminated is the key problem of agrarian producers – selling their merchandise. The support of the competent ministry helped several successful agrarian producers and cooperatives from this region to have a long-term rent on the state-owned land, under the conditions of adhering to the EU standards. Besides that, three years ago the city formed the Agrarian Fund, to support the agricultural producers through non-refundable aid and subsidies.
“In 2009 we distributed the modest, but symbolically significant sum of 5.5 million dinars. In 2010, that amount grew four times over – 22 million. This year, our fund disposes with 60 million dinars, of which 47 million has been shared already among producers. We plan to double the sum next year, i.e. to go over 100 million dinars”, says the mayor of Leskovac.
The abilities of the Agrarian Fund will probably expand considerably once the photo-voltage power plant starts operating, with the installed power of one megawatt, since its income will be collected by the Fund. The works on the power plant are ongoing, and it should be making the annual income of some 400 thousand euros.
Another project is under way, aimed at helping the development of agriculture. At issue is the research and exploitation drill for geo-thermal water, which would be used to heat the green houses, but for other purposes too, depending on the results of the exploration. Namely, there are serious scientific indications that in the Leskovac valley, at the depth of 1,000-1,500 meters, there are geo-thermal waters with temperatures ranging from 70 to 110 degrees centigrade. According to those indications, all the surrounding spas – Niska, Sijarinska, Vranjska and Bujanovacka – had emerged over the cracks in the underground thermal core in Leskovac.