Several associations of agricultural producers in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) have requested that a natural disaster due to drought be declared at the state level.
Farmers claim that the damage to yields due to the drought is more than 50 percent and that neither entity nor state institutions are doing enough to suppress the damage, which is why autumn sowing is questionable.
”Considering the situation, the drought, the pandemic, there is nothing that did not affect us, the war in Ukraine, the village has to endure all that, but how? I am afraid that, if the government does not respond to help agriculture, does not declare a natural disaster, what will happen to the autumn sowing,” asks Djuro Kopacevic, the president of the Association “Zito” from Odzak in the Posavina Canton, one of the 10 cantons in the Federation of BiH (FBiH) entity.
Kopacevic added that it is not enough to simply declare a natural disaster but to compensate for the damage before autumn sowing.
Drought in the fields also threatens animal farms
The President of the Republika Srpska (RS) Dairy Association, Vladimir Usorac, warned that the lack of grain as a raw material for livestock feed will directly affect the reduction of livestock.
He advocates the introduction of AdBlue, as a form of incentive for farmers.
”We came to the conclusion that AdBlue should be introduced in BiH. AdBlue must be introduced because no country in Europe is without it, only BiH does not have AdBlue,” said Usorac after the Bijeljina meeting of farmers.
AdBlue, the European standard for marking fuel for special purposes that is exempt from excise duty, is intended for use in driving agricultural machinery for the operation of agricultural farms, RSE writes.
The days behind us, accompanied by extremely high temperatures, without precipitation, brought great damage to farmers. The drought destroyed almost everything.
However, the real problems could follow in the winter period, and if the state does not do anything to protect domestic production this time, we will face a shortage and then a jump in prices.
Nedzad Bico, president of the FBiH Farmers’ Association, told “Avaz” that the situation is catastrophic.
“We had a meeting where we sent a request to the Council of Ministers to declare a state of natural disaster so that people could receive some compensation and so that they could do autumn sowing. Damage from the drought is catastrophic, corn, silage, everything suffered 70 percent. It won’t be there at all. The same for other crops, fruits, vegetables, reduced yield, lower quality. The damage is too great, I didn’t believe it until I saw it. It’s really sad to watch,” Bico said.
They expect help from the state with autumn sowing. There will be a lack of fodder and the livestock will not be able to feed itself, and the number of head will be reduced.
“In that case, price increases are inevitable, as soon as you don’t have something of your own to match the other, then the other blackmails and dictates the market. This is certainly the case with us, but, well, at least it can be alleviated a little with what we have,” concludes Bico.
The situation in the Republika Srpska is not any better, and as Vladimir Usorac, president of the Association of Agricultural Producers – Dairies in the RS, tells, the damage amounts to 80 percent.
“There will be no corn, and what we have is almost unprofitable to harvest. Everything was burnt. We don’t know what to do, wheat can’t be sown because the ground is so hard that it’s impossible to plow, therefore, the sowing is called into question by the weather conditions, but also by the wheat situation itself, where local producers didn’t buy it. The peasants have nothing to sow and I think that if we sow 30 percent of wheat, we will be good,” says Usorac.
He adds that the problem follows the domestic policy, which is based on the import of everything that can be imported.
“That’s how they get customs duties and VAT and they are satisfied, they have full budgets,” emphasizes Usorac.
As a reminder, the drought that has affected most of the European Union is probably the worst in history, and governments have decided to introduce some form of emergency measures due to water shortages and other consequences of the drought.
It is difficult to list the countries that are not at least partially affected by heat waves and lack of rain, and the damage is added up from France to Germany and Italy, Avaz writes.