EU for Hazelnut Production
Whole hazelnuts in milk chocolate, crumbled in a cake, or baked and salted - as a "snack". This nut is delicious in every form. At the same time, it is very healthy.
The company Pam Promet from Šid produces hazelnuts and sells them as raw material, but also in packaging, to healthy food stores and markets. The company, founded three decades ago, is managed by Aleksandar Mauković, who inherited the family business.
In addition to Aleksandar, his father and brother, Pam Promet has 12 employees, and as our interlocutor boasted, the company hired two more workers during the coronavirus pandemic. They have improved their business with the help of European Union grants, through the IPARD programme.
"We participated twice in the IPARD programme. For the first time, by investing in a self-propelled machine for collecting nuts, which helps us to collect fruit that falls from the tree as soon as possible and as cheaply as possible. In the second investment, we bought dryers that serve so that moisture does not destroy the fruit. In that way we gained better quality of the product, which can participate in the market. That financial support meant a lot to us," Aleksandar says.
Satisfied with the cooperation with the EU, the Maukovićes applied for the grants for the third time, in order to purchase a machine for sorting hazelnuts. IPARD stands for the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for Rural Development. Potential beneficiaries of the IPARD programme can be individuals (holders of family farms), entrepreneurs, business associations, agricultural cooperatives. Minimum and maximum amounts of reimbursements range from 5,000 to 2,000,000 euros.
Since 2000, the European Union has donated 230 million euros for agriculture and food safety in Serbia. Raising competitiveness, food safety and public health standards, respect for animal welfare and environmental protection standards are the main areas of EU assistance to the sector. IPARD (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for Rural Development) is the leading programme in this area, within which Serbia has been allocated with 175 million euros for the period between 2014 and 2020, with additional 55 million euros of national co-funding, and it is intended for agricultural producers.