FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

EU and FAO provide agricultural machinery for flood-hit Eastern Serbia

In the village of Boljetin, close to Majdanpek, an official ceremony last week marked the handing over of 26 different pieces of agricultural machinery. Recipients are farmers whose equipment was lost or damaged in the floods of spring 2014.

A donation of the European Union valued at about Euro 63,300 financed new cultivators, ploughs, tillers, mowers and rakes for a total of 51 flood-affected farms in Kladovo, Zejecar, Negotin and Majdanpek municipalities. The machines were procured and delivered to farmers by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Before issuing the public tender, FAO interviewed intended beneficiaries to establish the level of damage and agree on technical characteristics of the machines to be purchased. Beneficiaries received equipment similar to that lost in the floods, but new, improved models together with ownership documents and warranties.

For efficiency and best utilization of the new equipment, FAO experts gave a presentation and provided on-the-spot training on use and maintenance.

“We have supported flooded households as much as we could, and we have allocated over 30 million RSD for this purpose, but that surely was not enough,” said Dejan Vagner, Majdanpek municipality Mayor. “So, this support from the EU is very valuable. To match these efforts from the EU, we will continue to invest in improving the living and working conditions of our citizens.”

Jovan Djuric of Boljetin received a rotary mower. “After the floods,” he said, “we had no money to purchase equipment by ourselves, and we needed it very much. It is difficult to work with small, inadequate equipment, and dangerous too. So I can freely say that this donated machine is the solution to our problems.”

Karl-Heinz Vogel, projects manager for the Delegation of the European Union in Serbia, was present at the handover ceremony in Boljetin. “This assistance to Majdenpek municipality will hopefully significantly facilitate the work of farmers and help them get back on their feet soon and regain their agricultural production,“ he said. “The European Union is investing a significant amount to support Majdanpek municipality, since we are aware that it suffered damage from the floods and that there are a lot of households that rely on agriculture as their only source of income.“

The new equipment arrived just in time for preparation of the land for fall sowing.

EU and FAO assistence to Eastern Serbia municipalities started in March this year, and to date more than 3 846 farmers have received agricultural assistance packages valued at more than Euro 665 000 in total. An additional 1 120 farmers will receive assistance by year-end, with the delivery of winter seeds and fruit seedlings. Projected total value of all EU assistance to flood-affected farmers: Euro 1.5 million.

4 October 2016, Majdanpek, Serbia

The European Union Assistance to Flood Relief in Serbia programme, worth Euro 92 million, is funded by the European Union under the pre-accession funds IPA 2012 and IPA 2014. The funds will be used for construction of new houses, rehabilitation of public buildings and infrastructure, private houses and roads and recovery of economy and agriculture in municipalities most affected with floods. All activities in the field are implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), organisations HELP and ABS and Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and World Bank – in coordination with Government of Serbia Public Investment Management Office.

The information and views set out in this document are those of the FAO and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union.