The introduction of innovations in agriculture is necessary due to the fact that 30 percent of the total export of Macedonia are agricultural products, and 12 percent is the contribution of this branch in the Gross Domestic Product.

This was highlighted at today’s panel discussion on the topic “Creating a Platform for a Calorific Eco System for Development of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Agriculture in Macedonia” organized by the Regional Business Center in Strumica, attended by high representatives of institutions, professors, businessmen.

The Vice President of the Macedonian Chambers of Commerce, Gabriela Kulebanova said in her address that in order to achieve the economic growth in the country, it is important to develop exactly the competitiveness of the private sector through knowledge and innovations as a key starting point.

“Our biggest challenge is the transformation of the country into a knowledge-based economy capable of being competitive on international markets through its trained workforce and innovative companies. The support of small and medium-sized enterprises in the EU is over 20 percent, up to the sixth year since starting a business. In some countries, even banks provide funding to entrepreneurs on the basis of good ideas and guide them in the financial process. Macedonia has natural conditions for agricultural development, which is an important factor for the country’s economic growth. In the Association of Chambers of Commerce of Macedonia, they are members of agro-business companies of various activities, joined in the Agro-business Chamber. For a better development of modern technologies for the agro sector, a good knowledge of the current situation in the agricultural sector is needed, both locally and globally. Food demand is continually growing, primarily due to the growth of the global population, while changing consumer habits, “Kulebanova pointed out in his address and stressed that in order to achieve this greater competitiveness, a great commitment, changing old habits, solving on the problem of fragmented agricultural areas, reconstruction and construction of irrigation systems, increasing the processing of fertile surface and so on. That is why only with the combined action of all relevant stakeholders in the field, support and information on available European funds and their utilization we can expect some result. Positive examples in agriculture are quickly followed by the rest, and the Alliance is here to support and promote business success, she added.

According to the Director of the Center, Ksenia Vangelova, the companies involved in this activity, the academic sector, representatives from the Fund for Innovation, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management and representatives of the local self-governments from the region are involved in creating and encouraging innovations in agriculture.