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Western Balkans: State of Agriculture and its Opportunities on the Eve of EU Accession - II

Keywords: Western Balkans , agriculture , trade balance , EU accession

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The Western Balkan countries can be characterised by their shared goal, which is thequickest possible accession to the European Union. Agriculture is an important obstacle to achievingthis goal. The role of agriculture differs widely among the analysed countries but is more importantthan the average of the EU. This study gives a comprehensive overview of the most importantagricultural indicators related to both crop and livestock production. These indicators present aprecise picture of the sector’s relevance, production structure, efficiency and international relations.After demonstrating changes in input use, production structure, prices, terms of trade and agriculturalpolicies, the next section identifies some of the reasons for these changes. The time horizon of theanalysis goes back to the early nineties and tries to capture some transition effects. The consequencesof the Yugoslav war can be easily recognised in every country involved. However, since the end ofthe war Serbia became the leading producer and the only net exporter of agricultural goods in theregion. Nevertheless, the current situation is endangered by several issues, such as imbalancedsectoral production, fragmented production structure, relatively low yields, unfavourable exportcomposition, and poor food hygiene and quality control, which anticipate painful and hard actionsneed to be carried out.


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