Košarac: Farmers’ protests are not the answer

Košarac: Farmers’ protests are not the answer

SARAJEVO, December 28 (FENA) – Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina Staša Košarac believes that protests are not a solution for farmers and claims that some agricultural associations, i.e. a small number of producers, have been manipulated by the leadership of the Serb Democratic Party (SDS).

Košarac does not know exactly whether the former minister Mirko Šarović (SDS) was also involved in the manipulations, but „information that indicates that comes from several sources.“

Košarac presented these and other details, such as the claim that he received a warning or semi-threatening messages, at a press conference held at the headquarters of the relevant ministry in Sarajevo.

The Minister points out that the claims about the enormous import of agricultural products that creates problems for domestic producers, and about excessive surpluses on the market, are contradictory in relation to the data of relevant institutions in the entities, i.e. Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For example, the import of beef to Bosnia and Herzegovina is lower in 2020 by about 5,000 tons than in 2019, said Košarac. Imports of pork also decreased by about 3,500 tons compared to the indicators from 2019, and imports of milk decreased.

According to him, in 2020 there was also a significant increase in exports of fruits and vegetables compared to the previous year.

According to the data of the entity institutions, the production of basic elements is not falling or there are enormous surpluses on the market, Košarac points out and concludes that protective measures should not be introduced. The introduction of levies and customs rates of ten percent would cause a negative counter-effect in the sector, as well as the reactions of European partners.

„We have been informed by the competent bodies of the entities that there are no surpluses, we are all of the opinions that the purchase price is small, but no one can determine the prices and mediate between the primary producer and meat processor,” said Košarac.

He emphasizes that the Ministry he heads will continue to work exclusively according to laws and constitutional powers, i.e. that he does not want to adopt any populist measures or violate any law or international agreement.