Market Assessment

Market analysis of the fruit sector in Zlatibor county, Serbia, 2010

    This sector analysis was undertaken by the Private Sector Development 'PSD' project in Serbia implemented by the regional development Agency Zlatibor on the territory of the six local self-governments of Zlatibor Region. The project is financed by the Swiss Government through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). It applies the M4P (Making Markets Work for the Poor) approach with the view ot facilitate sustainable system change in the market, aiming to contribute to the creation of profit and employment.

    The project has chosen to provide support to the fruit sector for the following reasons:

    - Relevance to the local economy: Fruit production is dealt with by around 70% of farms, while 14% of households represent the dominant source of income generated from fruit production. Although only 3,5% of agricultural land is dedicated to fruit production, 20% of Serbia’s total raspberry production takes place on the territory of the selected municipalities and 3% of plum production.

    - Potential to generate income and employment: Export-oriented fruit production: over 90% of raspberries are exported; 76 cold storage facilities employ around 1.500 workers; in excess of 5.000 seasonal workers (pickers) are engaged; the tradition of processing fruit to produce brandies, jams and fruit preserves provides an excellent platform for development - not only in terms of the value chain in the fruit production sector, but also in support sectors like transport, packaging, marketing etc., thus generating the potential to create new jobs. Expansion of the product range and improvement of fruit processing levels will lead to the introduction of a new production process that will require the engagement of both low-skilled and highly-qualified workers in the fruit processing segment. Moreover, the fruit sector is inextricably linked to other sectors (packaging, fertilizers, safety equipment, transportation, advisory services) and is thus able to exert a huge influence on the generation of greater income and employment in Zlatibor County.

    - Potential for intervention: The PSD programme provides support in sectors with growth and development potential, on the one hand, while, on the other, it recognises so-called “actors of change” that have the capacity and strength to lure and “tug” others. The area’s competitive position within Serbia, but also on the international market, coupled with many different stakeholders and their willingness to cooperate, creates the space for various interventions to contribute to systemic change: transferring knowledge and information, spreading good production practices, promoting connectivity, intensifying the use of research and development, promoting regional products etc

    Summary of results
    Based on market analysis, the programme has chosen the following areas of intervention:

    - Creating a functional model for providing advisory services to agricultural producers with the aim of intensifying fruit production activities: The project seeks to contribute to raising knowledge levels and the application of good production practices among producers in order to advance fruit production.
    Achieving this goal requires improvement to the current model of mutual cooperation between primary producers, on the one hand, but also, on the other, the cooperation of all stakeholders that provide information and services related to fruit production. The PSD programme, in conjunction with Uzice’s Agricultural Advisory Expert Service, the Agricultural Innovation Centre in Arilje, Cacak’s Fruit Research Institute and fruit processors, will work on increasing the availability of existing advisory services and the creation of new ones aimed at contributing to more intensive productivity.

    • Enhancing the capacity of cooperatives: One way to increase the competitiveness of so-called ‘small producers’ is through functional cooperatives that enable members to join forces to secure a better market position and/or secure added value through the joint preparation of traditional fruit products. The PSD programme, in partnership with the Ministry of agriculture, Forestry and Water Management - Office for Rural Development, municipal agricultural services and other interested parties, will work to improve existing programmes designed to strengthen cooperatives.

    • Advancing market research functions of as a precondition for innovation: Good positioning, coupled with the retaining of existing markets and expansion to new ones, implies the permanent monitoring of demand trends as one of the pillars of development and product innovation. The PSD programme, in conjunction with the Uzice Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Serbian Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SIEPA), research agencies and wholesalers traders, will initiate the process of improving research on market developments as a basis for developing existing products and introduction new ones.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    Market Assessment
    »Sector analysis: Meat and Milk in Zlatibor Region, Serbia, 2011
    »Market analysis of the tourism industry in Zlatibor County, Serbia, 2010