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Sixth session of Working group 1 – Agriculture and Rural Development (Chapter 11) “Challenges in Agriculture in the face of climate change”

The sixth session of NCEU-MK Working group 1 – Agriculture and Rural Development (Chapter 11) was held on 12.09.2019 at the Club of Representatives in Skopje on the topic: “Climate changes impact to agriculture”.

The session was attended by over 60 representatives of all relevant stakeholders, including the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy of the Republic of North Macedonia, as well as representatives from the NGO sector, representatives from relevant state institutions and ministries, farmers, professors and an expert from Slovakia.

Prof. Mileva Gjurovska, national coordinator of NCEU-MK opened the session by stressing that there could be no society without agriculture. Unfortunately, today our agriculture is in crisis and it is up to us to turn to it and help it deal with the challenges of climate change.

The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy pointed out that climate change is causing serious damage to agricultural production, which ultimately affects the overall economy. He said that climate change has a direct impact on the farmer, and what is in the farmer’s interest, naturally is the state’s interest. Therefore, intensive measures are being taken to mitigate the consequences of climate change in agriculture.

Prof. Ordan Chukaliev mentioned that the CO2 emission, which contributes to global warming, is in constant growth. Then he described the situation in Macedonia with the climate change challenges that we are facing in terms of temperature, water, soil and so on. The problem of the water supply has been singled out as particularly important, as water is crucial for agriculture and the expectations are that the situation will only worsen. Undoubtedly, climate change contributes to reducing productivity, raising prices and reducing the well-being of farmers and all citizens of the country. Chukaliev pointed out the need for scientific research on the topic of climate change in Macedonia because we only have information from other sources that may not reflect the real situation. Knowing the exact conditions would be beneficial in order to be able to respond appropriately.

An expert from Slovakia and director of the Agriculture and Food Sector at the Slovak Chamber of Agriculture and Food, Jan Barsvari, said that climate change is one of the most current topics in the EU. He stated that there are some risk factors from the climate change that can be in terms of price, production, diversity and political factors. According to Barsavari, the risks posed by climate change are increasing and have a serious economic impact on agriculture. The reduction of risks is associated with an increase in production prices. Risk management cannot be left to farmers alone, food production is a social problem, and agriculture should be one of the priority sectors of the economy in every country.

Then it followed a discussion in which representatives of institutions, the NGO sector and farmers, who outlined their viewpoints and the problems they face in regards to climate change.

The discussion ended with the acceptance of the recommendations offered.