Contract signed with the company "Rigoni di Asiagio"
Minister of Agriculture and Environment, prof. Snezana Boskovic Bogosavljevic and general manager of the Italian company "Rigoni di Asiagio" Andrea Rigoni, signed a contract of lease of agricultural land owned by the state on the territory of Negotin municipality. The Italian company will establish organic production of hazelnuts on this land, covering an area of 190 hectares.
"For the Republic of Serbia and our agriculture this is an extremely important and significant investment, because it is not just about raising organic crops, but it is a plan of rounding the production process. The plan is to develop refining capacity and what is most important, the goal is to spread organic products with the origin of Serbia, not only in our market, but also in markets across the Europe and the world" - said Minister Snezana Boskovic Bogosavljevic.
The Minister also pointed out that this Italian investment will be important for local farmers because they will have opportunity to enter into cooperation and expand their organic production, and according to her, it is important that such investments can be realized not only in Negotin, but also throughout the Bor District.
The company "Rigoni di Asiagio" is planning to lease 3,000 acres in this area in the future, and Andrea Rigoni has announced, that in the coming years, other types of fruit - apricots, cherries, raspberries will be also produced.
"We came in Negotin, because we believe that this is the right place for our investment and to begin investing in organic production. Organic production is such that it moves in small steps and then it will be gradually expanded. The company in Bulgaria in the last ten years has invested 25 million euro. We're currently focused on an area of 190 hectares, that were available to be leased and where we shall start production of hazelnuts, and when the get opportunity, we shall lease the remaining area" - said Andrea Rigoni, CEO of" Rigoni di Asiagio ".
Jovan Milovanovic, president of the of Negotin Municipality, reminded that agricultural land covers 65 percents of the Negotin municipality territory and that this area offers excellent conditions for the development of agricultural production and processing.
"Today's signing of the contract is the result of several months of negotiations between local government, ministries and the Italian company and I am extremely pleased to have these negotiations successfully completed and this very significant contract, signed. The leasing contract of state owned agricultural land signed by Company "Rigoni di Asiagio" was signed for the period of 20 years, with the possibility of extension for another 20 years, and the price of annual rent of these 190 acres is 65,000 euros" - said the Mayor of Negotin Jovan Milovanovic, after signing the contract.
Today's meeting was also attended by Zoran Knezevic, Director of Directorate for agricultural land and by numerous guests. Before signing the contract with the investor from Italy, Branislav Raketic from the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment, made a short presentation about organic production in Serbia.
In Negotin municipality 2,700 hectares of the state owned arable agricultural land have been leased and today, 27 new agreements on the lease of the state owned arable agricultural land have been signed.