THE POTENTIALS AND LIMITATIONS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND COMPLEMENTARY ACTIVITIES


Agricultural land

Natural pastures and meadows occupy 2/3 of utilised agricultural land and range over the mountain steppe, lengthwise of around 70 km and in width of 8,5-19 km. Although jeopardized by the processes of biological degradation, owing to insufficient utilisation, they dispose with extraordinary ecological and landscape values and economic potential for development of pastoral livestock breeding and production of milk, meat and manufactured products of special quality, resulted in specific geographical features. The most quality land is under vineyards (1,5%) and orchards (2%), in arable valleys, while sparse, but good quality arable land occupy 28%. Small and fragmentized family holdings and slow process of restructuring and privatization of huge land areas in public ownership (44%), along with mountain relief and climate, represent major limitations for productive utilisation of agricultural land (Nikolić, 2008: 48-49).

Population and husbandries

The mountain villages have been affected by strong depopulation and decrease of husbandries number has not been followed by the property enlargement. High rate of activity has been a consequence of inadequate economic, age and educational structure of population on husbandries (table 1).

Table 1. Population and husbandries – basic indicators

 Old M.    area

– total –

Out of that

Urban

Mountain

Other

Agricultural population in total, %

2,4

0,8

15,0

4,8

Households with agricultural sources of income, %

1,9

0,4

10,4

2,8

Husbandries in total households number, %

31,3

22,3

66,3

64,7

Number of husbandries 2002/1991, %

-20,5

-10,3

-31,3

-29,4

Average size of arable land property, ha

1,16

0,83

1,53

1,70

Active in total agricultural population, %

75,9

49,1

87,0

75,7

Individual agricultural producers in population on husbandries, %

95,6

80,0

97,6

93,5

Number of active agricultural producers per 100 ha of UAA

12,6

3,2

24,6

9,8

Source: SORS, Census, 2002.

The owners of husbandries do not realize incomes from agriculture, i.e. in most of cases, they do not even live on husbandry, which implies to a need of diversifying rural activities, in order to return young people to inherited, but abandoned properties and renew the agricultural production by assets earned in additional activities. There is expected that the development of tourism and complementary activities provides staying, return and permanent settlement of younger working population, at least when we talk about rural settlement with tourist functions (Official Gazette of RS, 115/2008).

Livestock and mechanization

The number and structure of livestock is far below the potentials of local feed production base, as well as regarding agro-ecological minimal norms for preservation of natural grassland, and points out to great possibilities of revival and development of mountain pasture livestock breeding (table 2).

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Table 2. Livestock – basic indicators

Old M.     Area

  -totally-

Out of that*

 

Urban

Mountain

Other

Number of  livestock units per 100 ha of utilised agricultural area

7,2

54,3

5,6

9,0

Number of  livestock units  per 100 ha of utilised arable area–          totally

–           family farms

13,2

56,1

54,3

21,7

11,1

94,0

13,0

55,5

* The place of living/census does not necessary overlaps with the location of husbandry

Source: SORS, Census, 2002.

The level of mechanization equipment is low, especially in mountain area. One duo-axial tractor cultivates approximately 22 ha of arable land, but along with extremely expressed spatial heterogeneity, so some mountain villages are completely deprived from power machines (SORS, Census 2002). In regard to heterogeneity of natural conditions is necessary a selective approach to the condition improvement in that field, with accentuation on modernization of livestock production by machines for feed transport and storage, as well as for milking and milk storage.

Infrastructure and investments

Poor technical and technological performances of husbandry are accompanied by low infrastructure and public services equipment level, especially in mountain villages. There is expected significant improvement in these fields by realization of planned tourist projects. In 2008, the investments (legal entities) in agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishery were absent in the municipalities of Pirot and Dimitrovgrad, while in the city of Zajecar were amounted 35,9 million RSD (84,7 thousand RSD per employee in agriculture, and in Knjazevac municipality 10,3 million RSD (30,5 thousand RSD/employee).

Izvor

1. Николић Марија. (2008). Коришћење пољопривредног земљишта, развој пољопривреде и ревитализација села. Експертиза за потребе израде Просторног плана Парка природе и туристичке регије Стара планина, Институт за архитектуру и урбанизам Србије, Београд

2. SORS, Census, 2002

Autori: Vesna Popović, Marija Nikolić, Branko Katić


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