Seeking to overcome financial constraints experienced by small farmers and food producers operating in the Serbian market, the USAID Competitive Economy Project has teamed up with the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation to set up a new alternative financing scheme at the municipal level. These innovative revolving funds entail partnerships with local authorities and allow the municipal governments to use finance collected from multiple stakeholders to help larger groups of beneficiaries in their areas. The finance is disbursed, invested, and collected back into the fund, where it again becomes available to other farmers.
The first pilot revolving fund was launched in June 2020 in the Zlatibor District with a joint investment of 4 million dinars from the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation and the Municipality of Čajetina, which was involved through its public company Zlatiborski Eko Agrar. Following a call for applications, 19 local producers were awarded funds for investment into small-scale agricultural machinery, anti-hail nets, and similar equipment. The interest-free loans are repayable in quarterly installments over a three-year horizon.
Watch a short video feature about this pilot-project at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iaV6wJ1cfQ
Another two local authorities set up these funds in June 2021.
Prijepolje was Serbia’s second municipality to enter into an agreement with the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation and the Zlatibor Regional Development Agency, officially creating the 2021 Prijepolje Agriculture Development Fund. The scheme has a budget of 3 million dinars, and a public call for applications will be advertised by late August 2021.
For more information, see: Press Release_2021 Prijepolje Farm Development Fund
The Svrljig Municipality also joined the effort, partnering with the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation and the Southern Regional Development Agency for a joint investment of 1.5 million dinars intended to support farmers from the Svrljig area. The public call will remain open until 15 August 2021.
An additional two funds are expected to be launched by the end of 2021.
Read more about the funds’ achievements at Revolving Fund success story