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Making an agricultural living – YPARD Serbia with Toplički izvor

After a few YPARD Serbia media appearances, we got invited to be one of the presenters at the conference “Youth in agriculture: potential and challenges” organized by the association “Toplički izvor” in Kuršumlija (South Serbia) on 21st December 2018.

This very young association gathered and decided to create something good for their city and young community in Kuršumlija. There is a very small number of young farmers in Serbia, for instance, just in the South and East region of the country, there are less than 5000 young farmers.

In the attempt to increase that number “Toplički izvor” will at the beginning of 2019 start with projects that will promote agriculture between young people and encourage them to start their living on Kuršumlija’s farms. To introduce themselves to the community they organized this event where YPARD Serbia got to speak about the potentials and challenges young farmers in Serbia face, as well as, what’s the situation with young farmers in Europe.

I was so happy and honored to be at the starting point for this association and their cause, with all the research information on youth in agriculture carried out by YPARD Serbia in the past year.

As YPARD Serbia representative, I presented YPARD’s work and talked about what are the greatest challenges young farmers in Serbia face, what are their benefits and why should anyone be a farmer in Serbia. With the head of the association Aleksandar Vuksanović and his college Vladimir Gvozdenović, to gathered young people, in the hole spoke presenters from local government and organic farm “Organela” founded this year by students in agriculture science.

On my way to Kursumlija, I noticed good and healthy land, field crops and orchards. It was a very interesting fact that this city in the very South spot in Serbia has 35 000 ha of agricultural land but only half of it is used.  The city offers subsidies in agriculture in the various branch of agriculture where young farmers get more points evaluated in applying process. Every young farmer who applied got the subsidies. Although, very special guest on this event was young student and worker on farm “Organela” that produces and sells organic fruits, food products, and organic eggs. Group of students decided one day to buy a farm and produce on their own organic products. Since they begin their story this spring, they already made an impact on the market. Highlighting words from hole event was “our goal is to make a living out our work”! Nothing else to add...

The event went pretty well and it was very inspiring, despite the low number of guests who were very interested in the topic. So, I hope that we, especially the association, will get good feedback – young people from Kuršumlija showing interest in becoming “Toplički izvor” member and a farmer. As well, YPARD Serbia is very happy to deliver good and useful information for every future farmer and why not – YPARD member!

We discussed future projects and hopefully, we will start from the very beginning of 2019. Happy holidays!

Picture credits: Julijana El Omari