Kolasin, July 11, 2018 - Montenegro’s agriculture sector was given a boost today, with the launch of the Second Montenegro Institutional Development and Agriculture Strengthening Project (MIDAS 2). The €30 million project, financed by an IBRD loan and implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, will improve the competitiveness of agriculture and fisheries in Montenegro by enhancing the delivery of government support, in alignment with accession requirements for the European Union (EU).
“This project will generate jobs, increase economic activities in rural areas, leverage private investments through beneficiary contributions,” said Lada Strelkova, World Bank Operations Advisor for the Western Balkans. “This project will also provide much needed support to the fisheries sector. At the same time, the Project will help the Montenegrin people participate in the EU market and benefit from access to a larger demand for their products.”
Improving competitiveness in the agriculture and fisheries sectors to better align them with EU accession requirements imposes costs on individual firms and on the country, in general - requiring both significant investment in public goods and the creation of an enabling environment. The project will bridge some of these investment requirements while simultaneously supporting the development of the agriculture sector.
Improvements in food safety will increase the competitiveness of Montenegrin producers and enable them to access new markets. A grant program will also spur economic development and investment by leveraging private investments through beneficiary co-financing along the agri-food value chain. Another component in the project will help modernize the fisheries sector, enhancing productive capacity in that sector.
MIDAS2 is a follow-on to the ongoing World Bank-funded MIDAS project, which also helped strengthen institutional capacity to improve the competitiveness of the agriculture sector and supported Montenegro in meeting EU pre-accession requirements. The original MIDAS project has already helped build Montenegro’s capacity to implement an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance in Rural Development (IPARD) compatible system – resulting in the creation of a paying agency, farm registry, and pilot IPARD-like grant scheme to support investments in agriculture and the introduction of agri-environmental measures through five rounds of grants. Around 660 grants were given to farmers – majority of whom live in the less developed areas of the country to enhance their agricultural production.
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