Novica Janošević, President Of The Municipality Of Kučevo

Hidden Treasures of Homolje

The municipality of Kučevo is located in Northeast Serbia and belongs to the Braničevo District. It occupies the lower part of the River Pek basin and the flat part of the municipality stretches across the Zviška Valley, while the southern part spans across Braničevo (the lower part of the Pek). The mountainous part of the municipality belongs to the Zviške Mountains and North Kučaj, nestled alongside the north-western slopes of Homolje Mountains

KucevoKučevo is known for its wellpreserved natural resources (caves, forests, clean rivers and lakes and mineral water), interesting folk customs, events with a long tradition and a wealth of archaeological heritage. Due to its vast quantities of primary raw materials, the wood and stone processing industries have the best opportunities for development here. Agriculture is also an important economic branch in the area, especially cattle breeding – considering that we have many pastures.

The economy of the municipality of Kučevo is mainly based on agriculture, especially cattle breeding, which, in synergy with the natural beauty of Homolje, provide an excellent opportunity for the development of rural tourism.

– The municipality of Kučevo has the Registry for Categorisation of Rural Tourism Facilities, which enables the owners of registered farms to engage in tourism as well if they wish. By doing this we have enriched our municipality’s tourist offer, as well as helping our farmers to become more economically empowered.

With the goal of developing tourism, the municipality has also launched construction of the Ravništarka ethnovillage in the close proximity of the eponymous cave. There is also a nearby restaurant, as well as a tourist information centre and a wooden lodge.

Kučevo had a lime pit called Veljko Dugošević which was operational until U.S. Steel decided to withdraw from Serbia. Is there any chance of this factory reopening and what should be done for this timber-rich municipality to utilise this potential fully?

– There are excellent opportunities for the development of the wood processing industry, given that half of the municipality of Kučevo is covered in forestland. The municipality spans 721 square kilometres, with 348 square kilometres of forest area. Our municipality was home to one of the biggest wood processing companies in the former Yugoslavia – ŠIK Kučevo – which used to produce lumber, veneer, plywood, seats and chair backs, kitchen doors, wardrobes and similar products. Today this company’s premises in the Kučevo industrial zone are suitable for brownfield investments. The zone has several other available land plots suitable for new investments and is one of the investment locations in our municipality.

THERE ARE EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE WOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY, GIVEN THAT HALF OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF KUČEVO IS COVERED IN FORESTLAND. THE MUNICIPALITY SPANS 721 SQUARE KILOMETRES, WITH 348 SQUARE KILOMETRES OF FOREST AREA

What other areas have hidden investment opportunities and how can they be promoted and developed?

– It is very important to mention that our municipality borders municipalities that are also heavily forested, which is quite important in terms of acquiring raw materials and reducing costs. I would also like to underline that we have workers who are trained in the wood processing industry, as well as in the lime and stone extraction industry.

Apart from the wood industry, we also had a very well developed lime and stone processing industry.

The location which today houses the former lime processing facility is also suitable for brownfield investments. It is located on the premises belonging to the Smederevo Steelworks, immediately in front of the surface mine, some six or seven kilometres from the town centre and less than a kilometre from the M-24 main road and the Belgrade-Zaječar railroad. The location also has its own rail track leading to the industrial facility. Suffice to say that this location has complete infrastructure necessary for lime and quartz production.

The municipality has an industrial zone. How many investors currently occupy that zone and what are your plans for attracting new investors? Do you plan to build new industrial zones?

– In terms of attracting investments in this area, it is important to mention that a gas system installation project will be implemented in the region, which includes our municipality.

Kučevo places special emphasis on brownfield investments. Which brownfield locations are available to future investors?

– The two aforementioned brownfield locations are the most important investment locations in our municipality. The municipal authorities have also been working on employing new workers through the implementation of the new jobs programme, which has been devised by the National Employment Office.

Which large-scale investments have been implemented in Kučevo in the last year or so and how big are investments planned for this year?

– Establishing the industrial zone, where we currently have mineral raw-material/stone processing company ABM International d.o.o., is the basis for developing the business environment in our municipality.

We have also carried out activities aimed at developing sports tourism. This year, in collaboration with the Ministry of Sport, the municipality is going to build new pitches with artificial turf in the Kučevo Sports Centre. We are also planning to reconstruct and revitalise the summer residence of King Aleksandar Karađorđević I in Neresnica, which would contribute significantly to the development of tourism here.

Kucevo Panorama

ESTABLISHING THE INDUSTRIAL ZONE, WHERE WE CURRENTLY HAVE MINERAL RAW-MATERIAL/STONE PROCESSING COMPANY ABM INTERNATIONAL D.O.O., IS THE BASIS FOR DEVELOPING THE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT IN OUR MUNICIPALITY

You have been the municipality’s president for two years now. Is there something you are especially proud of in terms of your personal contribution to the development of Kučevo?

– I would like to single out the following successful projects implemented during my term in the office:
– Paving roads in all populated municipal areas, covering a length of 35km;
– Reconstructing and rehabilitating pavements in Kučevo;
– Installing an optical cable from Petrovac to Kučevo;
– Renovating a nursery last year, completely replacing the woodwork and renewing the building’s façade;
– Opening a new nursery in Rabovo;
– Building a contemporary facility for meat and animal product vendors in the Kučevo outdoor market;
– Renovating the local health centre, acquiring new medical equipment and renovating the village infirmary;
– Renovating a school, procuring school equipment and teaching aids;
– Renovating an old people’s home in Kučevo;
– Cleaning the basin of the River Pek in Kučevo and Neresnica, improving the municipality’s flood protection system;
– Successfully staging the Homoljski Motivi event in the original timeslot;
– Building a new, multifunctional sports ground suitable for volleyball, basketball, five-a-side football and handball at the Kučevo high school;
– Building a sports ground in Rakova Bara;
– Organising a number of cultural events, including the FESTEF Film Festival, theatre plays, concerts, exhibitions, festivals and murals;
– Joining the gas system installation project;
– Renovating culture centres;
– Assisting in the construction of religious facilities in Rabrovo, Mišljenova, Turija, Ševica and Voluja;
– Constructing the main part of the water supply system in Ševica; – Simplifying procedures for the issuing of building permits; – Helping farmers and agricultural associations by supplying fruit saplings and providing financial and professional help;
– Providing assistance to ABM International Company;
– Providing free transportation for primary school pupils and for high school students from impoverished families;
– Helping socially vulnerable persons in the municipality of Kučevo;
– Charity campaigns;
– Rehabilitating infrastructure and the machinery park at Kučevo Public Enterprise;
– Providing scholarships for 100 students.