EM North Macedonia: Panel Discussion in Kumanovo – “European Integration in the Northeast Planning Region: Rural Development – Urban Perspectives”
The European Movement in the Republic of Northern Macedonia organized a panel discussion as part of the project “Civil Society Organizations in Service of Local Democracy”. The panel discussion entitled “European Integration in the North-East Planning Region: Rural Development – Urban Perspectives” was held on 31.01.2020 in the Council Hall of the Municipality of Kumanovo. Speakers at the panel discussion were: Aleksandar Antevski, Maja Petrovska, prof. Ordan Chukaliev, prof. Mileva Gjurovska and Sasa Arsic. Attendees included a large number of farmers who, during the discussion, were given the opportunity to explain the problems faced by farmers in the country and to seek advice or assistance on how to improve their situation.
During the discussion, some of the problems that farmers face were identified. Education and insufficient access to knowledge and information remained one of the most pressing issues. Specifically, there is an Agricultural School in Kumanovo that reduces the number of enrolled students year by year, and thus reduces the number of people who could be agricultural experts. A solution was sought on how to motivate students to enroll in this school, even at the Faculty of Agriculture, as examples of scholarships for study or the opportunity to be granted a place to work or which they can redeem to cultivate. The second problem that was confirmed by the farmers, is that a growing number of young people are leaving so there is no one to work on the ground, and here is the problem of having no one to inherit this business within the family. Some of the participants noted that they face administrative difficulties and spend a lot of time working on administrative tasks rather than working in the fields. This is compounded by the fact that they are not economists or lawyers and sometimes make mistakes that could cost them a lot. They also demanded that there be a guarantee of redemption as well as the functioning of the redemption centers. In order to provide a decent livelihood, those living in rural areas need to have a job other than farming. The farmers present agreed that they are investing a lot, but there is no profit.
Read the full article here.