Agriculture, Food Safety and Veterinary
Did you know that 40% of the EU’s total budget goes to agriculture? Making sure that consumers get the highest quality products while also supporting European farmers is a top priority for the EU, ever since it created the Common Agricultural Policy in 1962. This is why agriculture is also a very important part of the EU accession process. Chapters 11, 12 and 13 lay down the standards which Montenegro needs to abide by to join the EU family.
On this path, the EU sets aside considerable funds to help Montenegro to build up and modernise its agriculture sector while also supporting farmers. 8 million have been invested since 2007 through EU’s pre-accession funds to support the food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary area, and an additional 1.5 million have been allocated to support fisheries in Montenegro. The EU has also assisted Montenegrin farmers with €39 million through the IPARD II programme. Thanks to this scheme, many local farmers have received equipment and the know-how, while many Montenegrin companies have built up their operations, created new jobs and are now exporting to the EU.
The EU will continue to provide the support needed for restructuring and modernising this sector in order to boost agribusiness development, create competitive agricultural holdings and enhance investment in rural infrastructure.
The Common Agricultural Policy is based on two pillars: the first relates to direct subsidies to farmers and market support; and the second one to rural development.
Rural development includes measures necessary for the development of activities in rural areas, and the European Union encourages them in the candidate countries through the IPARD program. Therefore, the European Union provides financial and technical support to Montenegro in this area through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for Rural Development – IPARD II for the period 2014-2020. Through the IPARD II program, around €52 million of non-refundable funds will be available to Montenegrin farmers, out of which the European Union has allocated €39 million and the national authorities almost €13 million.
The goal of the IPARD II program is to restructure and modernize the agricultural and processing sector, in order to create competitive agricultural holdings and the processing sector, which will be sustainable, aligned with the Common Agricultural Policy and capable to use European funds when Montenegro gets a full EU membership.
The IPARD II program has seven measures:
- Measure 1 – Investments in physical assets of agricultural holdings;
- Measure 3 – Investments in physical assets, related to the processing and marketing of agricultural and fishery products;
- Measure 4 – Agri-environment-climate and organic farming;
- Measure 5 – Implementation of local development strategies – LEADER approach;
- Measure 6 – Investments in public rural infrastructure;
- Measure 7 – Diversification of agricultural holdings and business development;
- Measure 9 – Technical Assistance;
Montenegro so far is able to use measures 1, 3 and 7 as it has received accreditation from the European Commission to manage these funds.