In the Pelagonija planning region are 17.7% of the total 650,000 hectares  arable agricultural land in the Republic of Macedonia.

Agriculture is one of the priority sectors in the Pelagonija region. It participates with 4% of the total production in the region and 5% in the total employment in the region. The excellent agricultural structure and climatic conditions are the main factors that contribute to the successful development of agriculture in the region. Table 59 presents the representation of agricultural areas by categories. From Table no. 59 it can be noticed that the most common are arable lands (53%) and pastures (47%).

 Category of agricultural area in Pelagonija planning region expressed in hectares






1. Machinable surface.





1.1 Arable lands and gardens





1.2 Orchards





1.3 Vineyards





1.4 Meadows





2. Pastures




Total agricultural area





Source: State Statistical Office of R. Macedonia, “Regions in the Republic of Macedonia, 2014”

The Pelagonija region is home to 14.54% of the total number of agricultural holdings in the Republic of Macedonia (Table 60). In this region, 97% of the total agricultural land is used, which is 5% more than  utilization at the national level.

In the Pelagonija region, agriculture is an economic activity of the whole family. Most often, the holders of an individual agricultural holding are men (90% of the cases, the same as at the national level) with an average age of 57 years,  while  of households engaged on individual agricultural holdings are 64% women with an average age of 45 years and 36% men with an average age of 33 years (Table 61). It is important to mention that 30% of household members engaged in individual agricultural holdings are under 35 years of age, as opposed to 25% nationally. This shows a trend of youth involvement in agricultural activities.

The excellent geographical position, the availability of quality arable land, the excellent climatic conditions and the long agricultural tradition are the essential factors that contribute to the successful development of agriculture in the Pelagonija region. At the same time, there is the use of outdated machinery and technology that opens opportunities and needs for defining support programs in the modernization of mechanization and implementation of innovations in production followed by the production of healthy products.

The initial trends for the inclusion of the young population in agriculture entail the need to revive the rural areas and ensure an adequate quality of life in the villages. Improving the overall communal and road infrastructure in the region simultaneously affects all aspects of life. Changes in markets and demand, as well as increasing awareness of the value of value chains, entail the need to develop new crops and the possibility of returning some crops that are a raw material base.

Programs to support agriculture and rural development

Program for financial support of rural development

The program for financial support of rural development is implemented by granting non-repayable financial support for investments, which is granted in the form of financing and co-financing the value of undertaken and realized investments, also for intangible investments, according to eligible costs and the amount of support. user. The program is implemented through rural development measures:

  • 111 Training for informing agricultural producers
  • Assistance to young farmers to start an agricultural activity
  • Agricultural Advisory Services
  • 121 Investments in modernization of agricultural holdings
  • 122 Investments to increase the economic value of forests
  • 123 Investments for processing and marketing of agricultural products
  • 124 Investments in infrastructure for development of agriculture, forestry and water economy
  • 131 Economic association of agricultural holdings for joint performance of agricultural activity
  • 211 Assistance for performing agricultural activity in areas with limited opportunities for agricultural activity
  • 213 Assistance in preserving rural areas and their traditional features
  • 214 Assistance in conserving the genetic diversity of indigenous agricultural plants and indigenous livestock breeds
  • Organic production
  • Improving the quality of life in rural areas
  • Reconstruction and development of villages
  • 323 Preservation and promotion of traditional values in rural areas
  • 413 Implementation of strategies for local development of rural areas
  • 431 Encouraging local development in rural areas

Program for financial support in agriculture

The funds for financial support in agriculture are provided from the Budget of the Republic of Macedonia. The program is implemented through the measures:

1. Measures to support the income of agricultural holdings

  • Direct payments for crop production
  • Direct payments for livestock production

Direct payments are a measure to support the income of agricultural holdings, and are paid per area of agricultural land, unit of agricultural product and head of livestock.

2. Measures for additional support for agricultural development (state aid in agriculture)

  • Assistance in premiums and insurance
  • Assistance for protection of agricultural land
  • Assistance for certain categories of holders of the agricultural holding
  • Assistance in the livestock sector

The Rural Development Component (IPARD) is the fifth component of IPA. It contributes to the sustainable adaptation of the agricultural sector and rural areas, as well as to the preparation of candidate countries for the implementation of European Union legislation on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and related policies. The Rural Development Component supports candidate countries in developing policies as well as preparing for the implementation and management of the Union CAP.

The IPARD program is a set of measures for the implementation of rural development policy that aims to increase competitiveness and modernize agricultural production, achieve quality and safe food, compliance with European Union standards for quality, health, food safety, health of animals and the environment, sustainable management of natural resources and improvement of living conditions in rural areas and the rural economy. The program increases access to finance to invest in the modernization of economically viable agricultural holdings and the food industry in order to achieve compliance with the minimum standards of the European Union.

For the use of the funds from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for Rural Development of the European Union (IPARD), in accordance with the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and the Commission of the European Communities on cooperation rules regarding EC financial assistance and implementation of assistance under component V ( IPARD) from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, in the programming period IPARD 2007-2013, the following measures for financial support were envisaged:

Measure 101 – Investments in agricultural holdings for their restructuring and upgrading to the standards of the European Union;

Objective of the measure: Improving competitiveness in the agricultural sector by increasing the quality of production by using modern means of production and technological advancement of production processes in accordance with community standards related to animal welfare, animal and plant health and standards for the environment

Priority sectors :

  • Viticulture, fruit growing, gardening,
  • Breeding dairy cattle for primary milk production and
  • Livestock and poultry breeding for TOV for meat production.

Measure 103 – Investments in the processing and marketing of agricultural and agri-food products for their restructuring and upgrading to the standards of the European Union;

The purpose of this measure is to improve the production of agri-food from the point of view of production, processing and marketing of high quality products, harmonized with the rules of food safety, health and environmental protection.

Priority sectors:

  • Wine production,
  • Fruit and vegetable processing,
  • Processing of milk and dairy products and
  • Meat products.

Measure 302: Diversification and development of rural economic activities

The purpose of this measure is to create new jobs and maintain the existing ones through the development of activities in micro business, and thus raising the level of economic activity in rural areas and stopping the displacement of the population in rural areas.

Priority sectors:

  • Support to micro enterprises in rural areas,
  • Promoting rural tourism activities.