Increasing the Market Opportunities in the Republic of North Macedonia

The European Union (EU) establishes common rules for managing agricultural markets, standards for marketing agricultural products and for trade with third countries and these rules are outlined in the so-called Single CMO Regulation. In particular, these rules concern public intervention in the markets, private storage, production quotas, marketing periods, exceptional measures and aid to specific sectors, marketing and quality standards as well as to facilitate cooperation through producer and inter-branch organisations.

The Common Market Organisation (CMO) is a set of rules which regulate agricultural markets in the European Union. It builds on the rules for the common market in goods and services with specific policy tools that help improve the functioning of agricultural markets. The CMO sets out the parameters for intervening on agricultural markets and providing sector-specific support. It also includes rules on marketing of agricultural products and the functioning of producer and interbranch organisations. Finally, it covers issues related to international and competition rules.

The project “Introduction and implementation of common market organisation measures in the Republic of North Macedonia” is funded by the EU and implemented by a consortium led by WEglobal and started on 4th December 2018.

The direct beneficiaries of the project are the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy (MAFWE), State Agriculture Inspectorate, Agency for Financial Support of Agriculture and Rural Development (AFSARD), and other public institutions. Other stakeholders such as farmers, processors, traders, and their organisations are indirect beneficiaries of the project.

The main goal of this project is to increase market opportunities, economic development, as well as overall productivity in the agricultural sector by improving the competitiveness of the sector in accordance with the requirements for EU accession.

As support to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy in creating evidence-based policies and monitoring them, the project conducted sub-sectoral analyses of fruits, vegetables, cereals, milk and dairy products, pork meat, wine and honey. These analyses give a clear picture of the real situation of the regulation of the markets in the mentioned sub-sectors in agriculture and give recommendations to the ministry for creating measures and programs in order to improve and overcome the current situation.

This project is of strategic importance for strengthening the position of all participants in the value chain, promoting contractual vertical and horizontal integrations between stakeholders in order to support transparency, stability, fairness of markets in the interest of increasing the competitiveness of all participants individually and the chain as a whole.

The project also assists institutions and the private sector in regulating the required set of national market standards for fresh fruit and vegetables in the EU’s internal and export markets. This set of activities is implemented mainly through capacity building of all stakeholders, as well as preparation of proposed measures and activities with recommendations for their implementation. The main expectations from this project are to help the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy as a policy maker to protect the market of agricultural products from disturbances caused by price fluctuations and the unfair competition that agricultural producers face on a daily basis.

During the implementation of the project, recommendations were given for the organizational structure, representation and mandate of the sub-sectoral working groups (SSWGs).

An analysis and preparation of the report on the existing capacities of the State Inspectorate for Agriculture was made with a series of recommendations for further strengthening. Additionally, checklists and documents for quality control of fresh fruits and vegetables, preparation of a manual for inspectors for fresh fruits and vegetables, proposals for adaptation of the relevant laws with EU regulations, concept for conducting risk analysis were prepared.

The project developed the concept of establishing inter-branch organizations. The initiative to create inter-branch organizations was defined. Recommendations were made on the legislation for inter-branch organizations according to EU regulations and what steps are needed to be taken.

The benefits of the project were also reflected in the EU Commission report for Republic of North Macedonia for the year 2020, which stated that “good progress was made in aligning to EU rules on common market organisation registered, with the preparation of commodity-specific regimes for dairy products, fruit and vegetables and pork meat”.

Author: Katarina Ciconkova, WEglobal Project Manager

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