On November 25th 2019 in Hotel Holiday Inn in Skopje, 17 contracts for financial support (EU grants) have been signed with 9 existing and 8 new agricultural cooperatives. The financial support is provided by the European Union and is aimed for investments in facilities and equipment for processing, storage and marketing of agricultural products that would improve the capacities of agricultural cooperatives and competitiveness of the agriculture sector.
“The total amount of the EU’s support is 891.385 EUR, and with the included co-financing by the agricultural cooperatives, the total investments are almost 1,3 million euros, which is only part of the European Union’s support to the agricultural sector” – said Mr. Nicola Bertolini from the Delegation of the European Union. He presented other activities of the European Union in the agriculture sector.
The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, Mr. Trajan Dimkovski said that agricultural cooperatives are an important part of agriculture and the Ministry has provided support to their development with various measures, including a new Law on Cooperatives, which is in process to be adopted, software and support measures for agricultural cooperatives.
“Affiliated farmers are more competitive on the market than if they act individually. Through the agricultural cooperatives, farmers can more effectively organize their production, use the resources more rationally, become more powerful in the business negotiations and more competitive in the market. Agriculture is one of the driving forces of the Macedonian economy and therefore all of our supporting measures are aimed at creating favorable conditions for developing this sector, among which are the measures for supporting the agricultural cooperatives “- emphasized the Minister.
According to Mr. Mende Ivanovski – the President of the “Macedonian Association of Agricultural Cooperatives” – selected to be the umbrella organization within the project, the agricultural cooperatives consider this as a concrete incentive for reviving the concept of cooperatives, which should be complemented with additional institutional support.
The project representatives stated that the financial support was preceded by technical support for preparation of business plans of the agricultural cooperatives, while the initiatives for establishing new agricultural cooperatives received legal support to ease their registration process.
The funds for realization of this support have been provided within the “Support to Development of Agricultural Cooperatives” project, financed by the European Union and implemented by CARE Germany and “Macedonian Enterprise Development Foundation”.
Below you can find photos from the event.