As Aleksandar Mauković seeks to grow the business founded by his father nearly three decades ago, he proves that the young shall indeed inherit the world. Pan promet is a company from Šid engaged in production and processing of hazelnuts. Thanks to IPARD, Aleksandar has purchased a number of machines that have helped him to expand his business further.
“The company was founded by my father in March 1993. We have thus far applied for funding within IPARD Measure 1, which allowed us to purchase a nut harvesting machine, and Measure 3, that helped us purchase a dryer machine,” Aleksandar explains.
He said that it took 12 months for Pan promet to receive the application decision but noted they managed to make the most of the investment in a relatively short time; the Directorate for Agrarian Payments was quick to notify them that their application has been approved and the money was disbursed only two weeks later.
Through IPARD, or the European Instrument for pre-accession assistance for rural development, the company received a refund of 60 per cent for the purchased machinery.
“The money we received helped us to improve our production. Sure, we had to deal with a bit of paperwork, but it gets easier once you go through it the first time; we hired an agency to help us gather all the necessary papers.”
Pan promet applied for IPARD money for the third time with a view to purchasing another two machines and a trailer. They are now waiting for the results.
“It’s been a year since we applied; of course, they have to go through every detail to make sure there are no irregularities,” says Aleksandar. The machinery he intends to purchase once his application is approved will help him leave the orchard clean, without broken branches lying around. Also, it will help him turn those branches into pellets that he will further use for heating.
The company from Šid sells hazelnut both as a raw material and as a packaged product. Apart from Aleksandar, his father and his brother, the company employs a total of 12 people. Our protagonist boasted that the company hired two employees despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Knowing that producers from Šid are setting an excellent example of how IPARD money should be used, a few months ago they were visited by Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Ambassador Sem Fabrizi. Aleksandar says they were honoured to have him as a guest.
On that occasion, Fabrizi said that the European Union has allocated EUR175 million for IPARD which, combined with co-financing from the Serbian Government and individual investments, adds up to around EUR400 million in investment.
“Make the most of these funds. Aleksandar and his family have done so and in turn they have improved their living standard and their production,“ Fabrizi told the farmers on that occasion.
Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for Rural Development—IPARD 2014-2020
For the period 2014-2020, the EU has committed EUR175 million for IPARD, complemented by another EUR55 million of national co-financing. Thanks to IPARD, Serbian farmers will have EUR230 million at their disposal for the following measures: