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The current situation in Ukraine has created serious problems for fruit growers in Serbia, because for years large quantities of apples, cherries and strawberries have been sold on Russian and EU markets.

The Serbian Chamber of Commerce is considering the possibility of exporting Serbian fruit to other countries, possibly the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco or Egypt, but also as far away as India.

Although the doors of eastern countries have so far been open only for berry fruits, mostly raspberries and then blackberries, there is every chance that apples from the Čačak area will soon set out on these routes for the first time. The SCC says that greater exports of Serbian goods to Gulf markets are being considered.

“I did business with Russia for years, but there were often many problems”, said fruit farmer Darko Topalović who has hectares under orchards in the village of Miokovci near Čačak to RINA. “Year by year they became more and more demanding, they started to see even the smallest spot on an apple and it happened that they returned trucks full of goods. So I decided to sell my fruit on both domestic and distant markets, which have emerged as an option in recent years. There is every chance that my fruit will end in India for the first time. Negotiations are underway, mostly about exporting red apples.”

According to the latest statistical data, there are some 28,000 hectares of apple orchard in Serbia, with an annual production of around 500,000 tonnes, depending on the weather conditions and the technical measures applied.

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