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AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

In the Pelagonija planning region, 17.7% of the total 650.000 hectares [1] of arable agricultural land in the Republic of Macedonia are located.

Agriculture is one of the priority sectors in the Pelagonia region. It participates with 4% of the total production in the region and 5% in the total employment in the region. Excellent agricultural structure and climatic conditions are the main factors contributing to the successful development of agriculture in the region. Table 59 presents the representation of agricultural land by category. From Table no. 59 it can be noted that arable land (53%) and pastures (47%) are the most represented.

Category of agricultural land in the Pelagonija planning region expressed in hectares

Year 2010 2011 2012 2013
1.Machining surface. / 112.078 111.987 115.191
1.1 Rust and gardens 46.182 92.839 92.712 95.858
1.2 Orchards 2.762 3.821 3.862 3.865
1.3 Vineyards 744 942 931 980
1.4 Meadow 6.897 14.476 14.482 10.149
2.Pastures 159.454 150.416 150.404
Total agricultural area 56.585 383.610 374.390 376.447

Source: State Statistical Office of the Republic of Macedonia. Macedonia, "Regions in the Republic of Macedonia, 2014"

In the Pelagonia region, 14.54% of the total number of agricultural holdings in the Republic of Macedonia are located (Table 60). In this region, 97% of the total agricultural land is used, which is 5% more than the utilization at the national level.

In the Pelagonia region, agriculture is an economic activity of the whole family. Most often, as a holder of an individual agricultural holding, men (90% of the cases, just like at the national level) with an average age of 57 years, while households engaged in individual agricultural holdings are 64% women with an average age of 45 years and 36% of men with an average age of 33 years (Table 61). It is important to mention that 30% of household members engaged in individual agricultural holdings are under 35 years old, up from 25% nationally. This shows a trend of inclusion of young people in agricultural activities.

The excellent geographical position, the availability of quality arable land, the excellent climatic conditions and the long agricultural tradition are the essential factors that contribute to the successful development of agriculture in the Pelagonia region. At the same time, the use of outdated mechanization and technology is opening up, opening up opportunities and needs for defining support programs for modernization of the mechanization and implementation of innovations in production followed by the production of healthy products.

The initial trends for the inclusion of the young population in agriculture draw the need for revival of the rural areas and ensuring an adequate quality of life in the countryside. Improving the overall communal and road infrastructure in the region simultaneously affect all aspects of life. Market and demand changes, as well as the raising of the awareness of the value of the value chain, necessitate the development of new crops and the possibility of returning some agricultural crops which are a raw material base.

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