The municipality is situated on the north slope of Šara mountain massif, where mountainous regions that reach the height up to 2500 m above sea level are predominant, and where the river valley of the river Lepenica with its river basin represents the middle part of the region. The total area of the municipality of Štrpce amounts to 26.762 ha, where agricultural land covers 55% of the municipal area (13651 ha) with the population of about 12000 inhabitants. Pastures cover 38,8 % and meadows 25 % of the total agricultural land and are dominant in the structure of the agricultural land. Land under cultivation that belongs to a class of land with lower quality covers 18 % of the total agricultural land while orchard area is irrelevant. Formation of agricultural land with crop farming and cattle breeding characteristics was exactly influenced by this kind of terrain configuration and land structure with the characteristics of the Alps mountain range. Agricultural area suitable for the development of cattle breeding is placed on surrounding mountain massifs’ slopes and hillsides. An adequate development of complementary branches of agricultural science, along with tourist complex development project would also be a support to the future development of the municipality. Priority should be given to autochthonous dairy products (Šara cheese, Šara hard cheese, Šara white cheese and cheese for making special type of pie made from thin layers of dough and a filling).
Protection of autochthonous cheese is extremely important, because ethnographic wealth of a country that way remains protected, and at the same time it creates remark ability of gastronomic and tourism offer and enables its placement on the domestic and foreign market. Autochthonous cheese production becomes more and more important way of gaining profit in rural households.
Authenticity of autochthonous cheese, according to which the same types of cheese but made in different regions differ, depends, among other things, on autochthonous micro organisms, which are heterogeneous types of lactic acid bacteria. Domination of certain type depends on the type and origin of milk.
Wide, pure and high-quality natural pastures and meadows, in other words abundance of healthy and high-quality cattle fodder is restorable natural resource reproduced by itself. Natural resources also include climatic conditions, like solar energy, wind and gravitation.
Increase in the number of inhabitants with permanent place of residence in Štrpce at first brought to insufficiency of natural resources of food, considering the present production capacity, but on the other side it significantly improved human resources, in other words expert and personnel potential was increased.
According to the analysis of natural resources and human potential, agriculture in municipality of Štrpce should be based on cattle breeding and within it on the production of milk and dairy products.
Table 1. and graph 1. represent the data about the development of the number of heads of cattle during the period from 1998 to 2008. Table 1. also shows base index and chain index extract values.
Table 1 – Development of the number of heads of cattle during the period from 1998 to 2008
|Years||Unit state of cattle||base index||chain index||Unit state of sheep||base index||chain index||Unit state of goats||base index||chain index|
Source:Personal calculation of base index and chain index based on the data of Mini
dairy ˝Lahor-Šara˝, Štrpce, 2008.
Graph: 1. Comparative analysis of the number of heads of cattle during
the period from 1998 to 2008
According to the calculation of base indexes the largest increase in the number of heads of cattle was recorded in 2008 and it amounted to 8.8%. Chain indexes show that the largest increase was recorded in 2001 and it amounted to 17%, then in 2004 and 2005 it amounted to around 5% and in 2008 to 2%.
The greatest increase in the number of sheep in relation to the base year was recorded in 2007 and it amounted to 8.4% and in 2008 when it amounted to 10.5%. According to the chain index extract the largest increase in the number of sheep was recorded in 2001 and it amounted to 19.4%, and afterwards from 2002 to 2006. it amounted to 1.5%, in 2007 it amounted to 6.8% and in 2008 it amounted to 2%.
Extraction of base and chain index for goats also showed increase, which reached the highest point in 2008, when it amounted to 10.3% regarding base indexes and somewhat more than 7%, regarding chain indexes.
The above mentioned potential shows justification for the existence of the production line for organized purchase and processing of milk and dairy products. However, mini dairy ˝Lahor-Šara˝ in Štrpce with the capacity up to 500l of daily production, which has been working successfully during the past years, unfortunately doesn’t satisfy the present need and real demand.
The production of milk and dairy products
The production of milk in Serbia is still on unenviable level; during the last six years it hasn’t been significantly changed, more exactly the quantity of the produced milk was increased by 0.32 % in 2007 in comparison to 2000, therefore certain measures should be taken to stimulate its growth and development.
Serbia’s share in the world milk production amounts to 0.31 %, its share in European milk production amounts to 0.90 % and it modestly ranks 22. in Europe, with the production that is higher than the production of milk in Lithuania, and lower than the production of milk in Portugal. Milk producers in Serbia are family households that produce 92 % of the total production, while in agro-industrial plants significantly smaller quantity of milk is being produced. Region that is most successful in the production is Central Serbia, considering that it has an adequate terrain configuration for cattle breeding production.
According to the consumption of milk and dairy products, Serbia is on the bottom of European scale. If it approached European average, it would be confronted to a deficit of those products. Average consumption of milk for 2007 was 60.6 l per capita.
The European Commission Decision to put Serbia on the list of the countries from which it is possible to import milk to the countries of the European Union will have positive effects on the development of domestic agriculture on long terms, since that decision will additionally stimulate agricultural production, because new markets for the placement of domestic products are being opened. The production of milk and dairy products should be stimulated through the measures of agrarian policy.
Table 2. and Graph 2. show survey of milk and dairy products production development since 1998 to 2008 in Mini Dairy ˝Lahor-Šara˝. According to the given data it could be noticed that during recent years there has been a significant increase in the production of milk, and therefore a significant increase in the production of dairy products, as well as in the consumption.
Table 2 – The production of milk and dairy products during the period from 1998 to 2008
|Milk(l)||Litres per capita||Litres per ha||Yogurt(l)||Litres per capita||Litres per ha|
Source: Internal data of the Mini Dairy „Lahor-Šara“, Štrpce, 2008
Analyzing the Table 2. and Graph 2. it could be concluded that the purchase of milk was increased during the period from 2004 to 2008 in the Mini Dairy ˝Lahor-Šara˝. Based on that fact, the conclusion was reached about larger procession of milk into dairy products. Also, considering that the production of yogurt was not increased, it could be concluded that the milk was used for the larger production of autochthonous cheese, which is evident according to the further discussion within this work.
Graph 2. Comparative analysis of milk and yogurt production