In the hall of the Cultural Center in Bac, on March 2, 2021, a panel discussion was held on the topic “IPARD III – support to farmers – how to get funds” within the project “Cult (R) Ural – development, protection and promotion of the municipality of Bac”, which is an integrative civic initiative which has the general goal of providing support to the citizens of the municipality of Bac to get involved in the development processes of the local community and is implemented by the Association of Citizens Danube 1245 from Sremski Karlovci in cooperation with the Tourist Organization of Bac, which is part of a broader project United Nations Development Program (UNDP), funded by the Government of Sweden.

The panelists were Jasmina Miljković, Head of the Steering Body of the IPARD Program in the Republic of Serbia, MAFWM, Slobodan Živanović, Head of the Rural Development Sector, MAFWM, Darko Milanković, Undersecretary in the Secretariat for Regional Development of AP Vojvodina and Mladen Petreš, Assistant Secretary in the Secretariat for Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management AP Vojvodina.

The participants were citizens of Bac, farmers, civil society organizations, representatives of the public sector, the Lag Network of Serbia, representatives of rural development partnerships from Vojvodina and Bac.

The moderator of the meeting was Mrs. Jelena Kovacevic, head of the Department for Agriculture, Economy and Economic Development of the Municipality of Bac.

Panelist Jasmina Miljković informed those present that the preparation of the IPARD III program for the period 2021-2027. years in progress! The IPARD Managing Authority is working hard on the preparation of the IPARD III program and the first drafts of individual chapters were submitted to the European Commission (EC) in February. In accordance with the received EC guidelines, the first draft of the complete IPARD III program is expected at the end of March this year. The submission of the final version is scheduled for September, while the adoption of the IPARD III program by the EC is expected in late 2021 or early 2022.

The Republic of Serbia has decided to implement seven measures within the IPARD III program. A novelty in relation to the IPARD II program is Measure 6: Investments in rural public infrastructure. In cooperation with the SCTM and with the help of local experts, an “Analysis of the capacity of local self-government units, challenges and opportunities for the use of funds from the IPARD program, as well as the current state of rural infrastructure” was prepared. infrastructure in settlements in rural areas in a much worse condition compared to urban settlements.

Significant problems in rural areas are the quality and quantity of water delivered, a large number of households without connection to the public sewerage system, wastewater treatment, waste collection, underdeveloped local road network or inadequate maintenance of existing ones. Improving rural infrastructure will contribute to improving the quality of life and conditions for business development in rural areas. Beneficiaries of Measure 6 will be local self-government units that will have the opportunity to get a return of 100% of eligible investment costs.

In addition to this measure, potential IPARD beneficiaries will have at their disposal: Measure 1: Investments in physical assets of agricultural holdings, Measure 3: Investments in physical assets related to processing and marketing of agricultural and fishery products, Measure 4: Agroecological-climatic measures and measures organic production, Measure 5: Implementation of local rural development strategies – LEADER approach, Measure 7: Diversification of agricultural holdings and business development and Measure 9: Technical assistance, as a measure to strengthen capacity and provide support in the implementation of IPARD III program.

Panelist Slobodan Zivanovic spoke about financing small projects of Local Action Groups from national funds.

Participants took the opportunity to exchange information and knowledge about current activities and expectations in the implementation of the IPARD III program through an interactive discussion.

Panelist Darko Milanković spoke about regional cooperation, included examples of good practice from the environment and emphasized that without rural development there is no regional development.

Panelist Mladen Petreš presented the activities of the Secretariat for Agriculture. He presented the data on the ongoing competitions as well as those that will take place during the year. Participants shared their comments and experiences in working with the Secretariat through an interactive discussion.

After the panel discussion, the participants were organized catering.

An associate of the association “DUNAV 1245” on this project is the Tourist Organization of the Municipality of Bac, whose representatives, after the official part of the panel discussion, organized an expert guide for all interested participants at the site of the most important cultural and historical cultural monument in Bac, a medieval fortress.