The Government of Republic of Srpska adopted during its 44th session held in Banja Luka the Information on the state of affairs with regard to production and trade of beef meat in Republic of Srpska.
The Government decided to allocate BAM 2,000,000 for intervention buying of market surplus of beef meat in Republic of Srpska with the aim of protecting domestic farmers.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Boris Pasalic said this measure would be implemented by the end of January 2020.
“This measure applies only to farmers and producers in Republic of Srpska. Therefore, companies that buy, slaughter or continue to trade beef with African countries will get a certain incentive per kilogram of live cattle”, the Minister said adding that the guaranteed price to producers is 3.9 BAM per kilo of live cattle.
Minister Pasalic explained that the production of beef meat in Republic of Srpska had almost doubled in the last four years.
“The increase in beef production in Republic of Srpska had been motivated by good trade agreements with Turkey, however, this year, the arrangement was missing. Apart from certain agreements, there is no implementation of that agreement”, Minister Pasalic said.
The Minister of Agriculture emphasized that there are currently over 7,000 beef cattle ready to be shipped which the local farmers cannot sold on domestic market.
“It is also a very disturbing that BiH is the third country in the world to import beef from the European Union. After Hong Kong and Ghana, BiH is the third on the list importing about 36,000 tones a year while other Balkan countries are not even among the top 15. This is really something that requires a serious consideration”, the Minister said.
Minister Pasalic said that cooperation with BiH Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Mirko Sarovic and FBiH Minister of Agriculture Semsudin Dedic was good but that apart from talks and conclusions, it resulted in no contract with Turkey or measures derived from the BiH Foreign Trade Law that could be referred to barriers or restrictions on importing of those products from other countries.
The Minister of Agriculture clarified that there was an elaborated mechanism in the Law.
“This mechanism is shyly used. We have not yet shown the necessary determination, like some other countries in the region to activate these measures and put the interests of our farmers first and before the interests of merchants and producers in other countries”, the Minister of Agriculture said and added that the export of beef to Turkey might start but that if it didn’t, in this two-month period the pressure would be reduced.
The Government also adopted the Information on the establishment of a new agricultural cycle in the 2019/20 season.
Minister Pasalic said that autumn planting is currently underway, but that there were some delays due to lack of moisture in the soil.
“We expect our farmers to plant about 43,000 hectares with wheat and including other crops the total area to be planted will be about 69,000 hectares”, the Minister said.
Minister Pasalic concluded that 50% of the land has been planted so far and that after the announced rain, the planting season should be successfully completed in the next 15 days.