Sixty farmers from Novi Bečej managed to organize and purchase 1700 acres of land from agricultural holdings BD Agro. This is the first time in the history of our country that the purchase of agricultural land was conducted in such way by the farmers, and in a way, win against some of the most powerful Serbian businessmen.
The battle for 1700 acres of agricultural land lasted 46 days. Vladimir Glavaski, one of the innitiators of this idea, who now ownes new 120 acres of land, says that they don't feel like winers, but that they are happy that they managed to organize themselves.
He says that, in our present circumstances and the state our country is, he didn't really believe they would pull this trough.
This agricultural association has managed to push out of the game some major players such as "DELTA AGRAR" (company owned by Miroslav Miskovic), "MK Group" (by Miodrag Kostic), and the meat industry "Matijevic".
The mediator among the buyers and the seller ( who decided to sell this land because of some financial difficulties) was the President of the Municipality of Novi Becej, Milivoj Vrebalov. He says that this mission was difficult, but they wanted to keep the money within the municipality, rather than see it pouring into accounts of the most powerful companies. Other than keeping the proffit inside the comunity, it would also help keep the young people from leaving the village to find job in the cities, said the President of Municipality.
For the purchase of agricultural land (class I to V), these 63 farmers had to pay the total amount of 7.500.000 €. They all took loans which they would be paying off for years, but they don't care. It was worth buying this land and in that way making a true precedent in the way the agricultural land is purchased in Serbia.
Source: RTV B92
This is just one example of the recent initiatives by the Serbian farmers. We have informations about farmers from Ub organizing to contact the buyers from Russia directly, rather than trough third party companies, which would significantly increase their profit from the sales.
Also, there is an ongoing project in Banat that assembles the farmers from different villages and gives them an opportunity to advertise their products for free, trough a central system that they can use for closing the deal with the end buyer themselves.
Our sources say that this project aims to gather as many farmers as possible, from all over Serbia, and connect them, so that they can exchange advice, information and cooperate so that they can achieve better prices for their products and in the end line, the goal is to be able to conduct the sale directly to local and foreign buyers.
Maybe the best example of what the farmers are able to achieve when they organize is the so called "potato movement" in Greece. Its shy beginnings were evident in the past few years, when the farmers gathered and as a form of protest against the low prices that wholesalers and the food industry was imposing on them.
The estimated costs of growing a kilo of potatoes is 0.15€, the farmers were selling it at 0.10€ to wholesalers, and the super markets in big cities such as Athens and Thessaloniki were selling them as much as 0.70€.
|Potato Movement in Greece|
It appears that while most of us were waiting for the intellectuals, students or workers unions to organize and make the change, it was in fact the farmers that showed us how it's done. They literally put the glasses on our eyes, as Greeks would say. So let us see what happens when the farmers organize.