Farmers and economy experts warned N1 that the situation in Bosnia’s dairy production is alarming and that the government must take significant steps to avoid a scene like in Serbia where the shelves of retail stores with milk are empty.
Vladimir Usorac, the President of the Association of Agricultural Producers – Dairy Farmers of Republika Srpska told N1 that the situation is extremely difficult and that the shortage of milk is not only in present Bosnia but also in other European countries.
“The lack of milk is due to the lack of labour force, this year yields are below the bare minimum, and there is no one to work in the villages because there are no young people to engage in agriculture. Now, all our demands for the protection of domestic production have proved correct”, Usorac explained.
Adin Fakić, an agro-economic expert for N1, said that in the first half of the year there was a significant drop in milk production and that this trend will certainly continue.
“The reason for the decline in milk production is due to various factors, from the significant increase in the price of fertilizers to corn and fuel. The government must co-finance agricultural production during spring sowing.
Usorac told N1 that citizens are now buying the lowest milk class, which already costs over 2 Bosnian marks (almost €1) in the Republika Srpska (RS) entity. Usorac claims that there will be another increase in prices for citizens.
“By January next year, milk prices in Bosnia will be over 3 marks,” Usorac warns.
There is a great danger, Fakic noted, that dairy farmers will start slaughtering cattle and giving up milk production.
“I don't want to be pessimistic, but the authorities must understand that inflation and the rise in energy prices that affect milk production must not ultimately be transferred to the citizens,” Fakic said.