Podgorica, November 23, 2022 – Despite the good potential for food production, significant financial investment, education and producers awareness development are needed, and turning to the circular economy is the conclusion of the event called “Challenges in the local food system.”
At this event, IPC Technopolis presented its biotechnology laboratory which provides support to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, engaged in food production and individual agricultural producers (farmers). 730 analysis are done so far for 25 users. In addition, Biolab Tehnopolis has an automated drone for agriculture with which progress and quality can be monitored on large areas crops of agricultural crops. So far, an area of 5 ha for 10 users has been recorded with this drone. Also, this laboratory has equipment for testing technical correctness of the machinery used for the application of plant protection products. By using this equipment, less pesticides are used, and the expenditure of money is reduced and the impact on the environment is reduced.
The municipality of Tuzi, in which about 80% of the population is engaged in agriculture, presented the current situation when it comes to food production and the challenges it faces. The need to carry out different types of tests, both of the soil and of the products itself, was highlighted, but also the controlled use of various chemical agents. Domestic food producers are striving for greater application of circular economy principles, but that process is in the beginning. There are still legal obstacles that would regulate the work small food producers. They rely mainly on their own sources of financing and managing when it comes to product placement.
A special problem, from the point of view of the NGO Green Home, is product packaging. Available is mostly plastic packaging that ends up on arable land and enters ours food chain. And those producers who use other types of packaging, such as e.g. glass, they are currently unable to return it. Research made in Montenegro in 2019 showed that sales chains make the selection of packaging based on the the following criteria: product safety, packaging price and alternative availability, which unfortunately we don’t have. It is interesting that our companies do not keep records of quantities and types of packaging they use, even though they give significant financial fees for it. So, for example, stretch film is used in large quantities. Greater production of food and its marketing on our market is possible only with significant engagement of society as a whole and the state, which must also take significant steps and responsibility when it comes to food production but also environmental protection, is the conclusion from this event.
This event is part of the EIT Food Start-up Awareness Event project, supported by EIT Food CLC North East p.z.o.o. and which is implemented in Montenegro by the NGO Green Home. EIT Food is the world’s largest and most dynamic innovation and food community. With support of The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, invests in projects, organizations and individuals who share goals for a healthy and sustainable production system food.