The Government of the Republic of Srpska adopted today during its 57th working-consultation session the Report on the Effect of Drought on Agricultural Production with the proposal of measures.
The Government also adopted the Information Note prepared by the Forests of the Republic of Srpska Public Enterprise on realization of the contracted wood sortiments in 2017 and projections for realization by the end of the year.
President of the Republic of Srpska Milorad Dodik was in attendance of today's session.
Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska Zeljka Cvijanovic stated after the session that the damage caused by the drought were very big and that the Government identified certain measures which would help the farmers and expressed her satisfaction with the fact that the Government of the Republic of Srpska was the first in the region to react to this situation as it did in spring 2014 when the floods hit the country.
The Prime Minister underlined that the Government fulfilled all its obligations with regard to agriculture for 2016 and that with the latest disbursement of 5.9 million for incentives, the Government since the beginning of the year executed one third of the agrarian budget or 20 million planned for this year.
„Today we reached the conclusion that additional 11 million would be disbursed by the end of August so that would in total be 31 million or more than half of the budget for agriculture. In our assessment that would help the farmers and all our commitments would be realized", the Prime Minister pointed out.
Prime Minister Cvijanovic further emphasized that another five million would be allocated from the Solidarity Fund through a special package of measures for the autumn planting which would be specified by the Ministry of Agriculture and associations of farmers.
In addition to that, the Prime Minister said, five million from the Russian clearing debt would be used for capital investment support primarily for irrigation systems.
„Today the Government reiterated its old conclusion that if the Law on Excise Taxes is passed, additional ten million would be set aside for agriculture", the Prime Minister said and called upon the authorities at BiH level to fulfill their obligation not only because it is part of the Reform Agenda but because it means ten million for agriculture and ten million for the Health Insurance Fund.
„One of the Government conclusions is that the BiH Council of Ministers namely the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations to deal urgently with the issue of agricultural products with Croatia or to introduce reciprocity measures", Prime Minister Cvijanovic said.
The Government commissioned the Forests of the Republic of Srpska Public Enterprise to secure sufficient quantities of the wood sortiments and regular supplies to wood processing companies in Republic of Srpska during 2017. Another conclusion of the Government was to follow up on the earlier agreement between the two entity governments and initiate the procedure before the Council of Ministers and other relevant institutions to ban the export of planks and chopped firewood.
President of the Republic of Srpska Milorad Dodik commended the Government measures with regard to the situation on the ground having said that the damage caused by the drought and hail were huge and that the Government measures were passed at the right moment so that the farmers could be aware of what to expect and how to plan production especially with regard to co-financing of diesel-fuel for planting.
The President added that the Government requested that the insurance companies should be involved too since the have certain obligations as well.
„Furthermore, the measures aimed at assisting those who pay concessions should be considered in terms of reducing the concessions and those who suffered the damage and pay off loans to commercial banks or the Investment-Development Bank", President Dodik said.
President Dodik stated that he was grateful to the Government for taking the system and target measures to help the farmers being aware at the same time that the damage could not be entirely compensated but could help the agricultural sector to get through this difficult period.