The head of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Serbia, Emanuele Ziofre, said today that the Union will provide the Directorate for National Reference Laboratories with the most modern analytical equipment, such as equipment for managing pesticide residues, Media EU Info reported.
“This facility is the center of Serbian food safety laboratories, but it also played a vital role in the early stages of the Kovid 19 pandemic, when most human samples were tested there with previously delivered equipment donated by the EU,” Ziofre said.
He visited the International Agricultural Fair in Novi Sad with Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Branislav Nedimovic, marking two decades of Serbia.EU partnership in the field of agriculture.
Thanks to EU assistance, Serbia, according to Ziofra, has achieved extraordinary results in eradicating animal diseases, such as rabies, which are dangerous for both animals and humans.
According to him, EU assistance in the field of food safety will not stop there.
Since 2000, the EU has donated 230 million euros for agriculture and food safety in Serbia, and the main areas of assistance are environmental protection, human health, food safety, animal welfare, and keeping the soil in good condition.
Thanks to the results of that support and the efforts of Serbia, Serbia’s agricultural exports to the EU have more than doubled in the last decade, and slightly more than half of the total exports go to the EU. Last year, Serbia had a positive trade balance of over half a billion euros in agricultural products.
Minister Nedimović said that, thanks to the EU gift, Serbia can now control suspicious food and, if it is problematic, exclude it from the market.
The EU helps farmers in Serbia through the IPARD program and now has 230m euros at its disposal for investments in physical assets, such as tractors, in the processing and marketing of agricultural products, in farm diversification and business development, as well as in technical assistance.