In recent years, the interest of farmers in this type of production has increased in the Republic of Srpska, which is a result of both increased awareness of the importance of organically produced food, as well as increased consumer demand for organic products. The natural resources that make the Republic of Srpska a suitable soil for organic production, but also the opportunity to make good profits while protecting the environment, are additional reasons why the number of organic producers is increasing year by year. Official statistics from 2018 illustrates a trend of growth in the number of recorded organic producers, according to which 28 organic producers are registered in the Republic of Srpska, which is 33% more comparing to the previous year.
As a specific type of production, organic production is characterized by avoiding the use of mineral fertilizers, plant protection products, but also animal feed additives and numerous other chemicals and additives. The production process is carried out by using agricultural methods that are ecologically harmless and do not endanger the environment.
In recent years, activities such as the harvesting of berry fruits, medicinal herbs and mushrooms have been of the greatest interest among organic producers from the Republic of Srpska, while the production of vegetables and fruits, as well as cereals and grains, and their side products, has grown steadily.
The certificate for performing organic production and processing of agricultural products represents the main advantage for organic producers in the Republic of Srpska in comparison with the countries in the region.
Organic production is a form of agricultural production that avoids the use of mineral fertilizers and plant protection products, but also animal feed additives and many other chemical substances, and the production process is performed by using agricultural methods that are environmentally harmless and do not endanger the planet. In order for a food product to be certified as an organic, the soil on which it is grown must be clear of prohibited substances for at least three years.
The result of organic food production is a product safe for human health, delicious product high in nutritional value, and rich in vitamins, as well as in micro and macro elements.
The importance of organic food production, as well as the increased consumer demand for products of this kind, have recently resulted in increased interest of farmers from the Republic of Srpska for this type of production.
The Republic of Srpska has a large areas of suitable soil for organic food production, and the number of producers who have recognized the opportunity to earn profit and preserve the environment in this type of production is steadily increasing. In addition, vast areas that are currently neglected, and are not used, have been identified as a good agricultural potential. This land, with appropriate support, could be converted into a soil for organic production.
In recent years, there has been an increase in organic production in the Republic of Srpska, and according to 2018 statistics data, there are 28 organic producers registered at the territory of the RS, which is 33% more than the previous year.
In addition to the harvesting of berry fruits, medicinal herbs and mushrooms, which was the main activity in previous time, there has been recorded a growth in production of vegetables and fruits, as well as cereals and grains, and their side products. A major advantage of the RS organic producers, compared to the countries in the WB region, is a certificate for performing organic production and processing.
Eight organic producers and processors of food exported their organic products from the Republic of Srpska in 2018, and the greatest interest in the organic products from the RS show the European Union countries, Switzerland and countries from other continents (such as Canada).
Medicinal plants have always been given a miraculous power, and nowadays there is a growing trend in interest in medicinal herbs. Due to its geographical location, good climate, soil and wealthy tradition, the RS represents a suitable place for the collection and cultivation of medicinal, aromatic and spicy herbs, with Herzegovina region being especially well known in this area.
Although all available potentials from this area have not yet been sufficiently utilized, in recent years there has been a growing trend of interest in the collection and cultivation of medicinal herbs. Also, medicinal herbs are increasingly being used as raw materials in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. Most of this production is based on the principles of organic production.
In the eastern and western parts of the Republic of Srpska the most prevalent is the plantation production of medicinal herbs such as chamomile, mint, calendula and nettle, while the territory of Herzegovina region is characterized by harvesting and processing of lavender, sage and cantarion, but there is also plantation cultivation of immortelle and lavender.
Certain producers are engaged in harvesting and processing of berry fruits and mushrooms. Mostly these are forest strawberries, blackberries and blueberries, while among mushrooms the most common sorts are boletus, chanterelle, black trumpet and morels. Almost all the collected quantities of forest fruits and mushrooms are exported to the foreign market as finished products – juice, jam, tea or dried mushrooms.
A considerable number of producers is involved in the organic production of fruits, vegetables and cereals. Raspberries, aronia, plums and pears are the most represented fruits, while among vegetables the most common are garlic, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, zucchini, legumes, young onions, potatoes and carrots, and it is mainly greenhouse vegetable production.
There is also one certified organic farm at the territory of the Republic of Srpska, in the municipality of Kalinovik, while others are still in the conversion period.
Organic producers can compete equally with conventional farmers for the Government’s incentive measures such as: investment in machinery, procurement of irrigation systems, expansion of food capacity, procurement of cold storage, dryers, sorting and packaging, and the premiums for produced and sold aromatic herbs, fruits and vegetables.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic of Srpska, through the Agrarian Payments Agency of the Republic of Srpska, supports organic producers and producers in the conversion period directly through two measures for organic production, plant and livestock production – for the size of an agricultural area and the number of heads, as well as for the price of the certificate issued by the authorized control body.
Producers may also receive incentive funds for all other measures prescribed by the Rulebook on Conditions and Manner of Achieving Cash Incentives for Agricultural and Rural Development.
Compared to the previous year, when between 40.000 and 60.000 BAM were provided for organic production support, this year the amount was increased to 100.000 BAM.
The sector of organic production in the Republic of Srpska is regulated by the Law on Organic Production (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska” No. 12/13) and bylaws:
Institutional support, finantial incentives, subventions, tax exemptions - all aim to build better business environment for you.
The Republic of Srpska is rich in natural and other significant resources that represent great potential for each investor. No matter the industry.
Position is important. Good connection with the rest of Europe makes it much easier to build a business in the Republic of Srpska.
Investors in the Republic of Srpska have an equal position as the residents. Aside from that, they have many more valuable benefits.
Tourism is a growing industry. The Republic of Srpska is an attractive location for tourists and yearly-growing numbers confirm this statement.
The workforce is a significant factor of success and one of the biggest advantages of growing a business in the Republic of Srpska.