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Unprecedented weather in Arilje and Ivanjica, followed by hail the size of a nut has destroyed plantations of raspberry, but it also damaged the fruits of pears, apples, and plums, which will be very bad for this area.
Large hail was falling hard on plantations for more than half an hour, causing massive damage to the farmers. Milan Radojicic from the Association of Raspberry growers "Vilamet" said that the hail caused so much damage that the consequences will be felt for several years.
- The storm has engulfed five villages of the Ivanjica municipality and five places in the Arilje municipality. Plantations of people who grow raspberries said that everything was completely destroyed, that it won't recover for another two, three years, and 95% of the people live from raspberries here - Radojicic said.
He explains that hundreds of hectares of raspberries were destroyed and that Serbia will have significantly less "red gold" this year.
- 63.000 tons were produced last year, and the production won't go over 40.000 this year. That means that the purchase price will have to be higher this year, especially because the strong winter killed raspberries in Poland and France, so there are no alternatives. No one will sell bellow 180, and they barely gave us 150 last year.
When the purchase price was 150 dinars, one kg of raspberries in the retail was around 400 dinars, that is why it is normal to think that the price will be higher this year since the amount of fruit on the market is smaller.
- Besides raspberries, plums, pears, and apples were hit as well. The same thing happens each year, people try to save money so they don't pay for insurance and they don't get safety nets. They are using the logic that it is the cheapest if nothing happens. But the climate is no longer the same that we can rely on it, especially if we live from agriculture. As my colleague used to say, the technique is what matters, and also god-technique - Cvijanovic said.
He fears that the farmers won't have enough raspberries to return what they invested.
(Telegraf.co.uk / G. Avalic / g.avalić@telegraf.rs)