Trstenik, Serbia -- European Union assistance to flood-affected Serbian farm households got under way with a first delivery of animal feed here today. Financed by the EU and delivered in partnership with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the assistance forms part of the EU's overall flood recovery package to Serbia valued at €30m.
Farmers in Trstenik are among the first to receive the EU assistance, as trucks carrying animal feed reached the town this morning.
Present for the official launch of the EU operations were Freek Janmaat, Head of Economic and European Integration Section at the EU, Trstenik municipality president Miroslav Aleksic and other high level officials from municipality.
Mr. Zoran Rajić, State Secretary with the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection attended on behalf of the national government.
'I am extremely happy to be in Trstenik today to launch the third component of the 'European Union's Support for Flood Relief in Serbia' project which is aimed at helping individual farmers recuperate from the damages and losses their livestock production suffered during the floods in May and June this year,' Janmaat said.
'The EU has secured a total of €8m for agricultural support, with which our partners from FAO will deliver animal feed, plant seeds, fruit and vegetable sprouts, greenhouses to small farmers in 24 municipalities worst affected by floods. The households are assisted to restart their orchards and crop fields, to replace destroyed agricultural equipment, repair damaged facilities; re-stock lost animals and keep the existing animals healthy and productive,' he said.
FAO's current recovery effort under the EU grant targets about 2,100 small-scale, family-operated farms in Obrenovac, Cacak, Lazarevac and Trstenik that suffered significant losses as a result of unprecedented spring flooding and landslides. Animal feed is procured within Serbia, following issuance of public tenders.
The activities are closely coordinated and implemented in partnership with Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, Government of Serbia Office for Reconstruction and Flood Relief and local governments. 'The overall aim of the agricultural component of EU's €30m flood relief package is to assist around 15,000 small farming households which provide life subsistence to over 30,000 people and which we hope will help them to restore the livelihoods and improve quality of life,' Janmaat said.
The information and views set out in this document are those of the FAO and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union.