Press Release

Mitigating the Impacts of Climate Change in Serbian Agriculture

23 May 2023

Photo: © FAO/Oliver Bunic


Agriculture remains one of the most affected sectors by climate change. Droughts, floods, hail, and changes in precipitation have a major impact on agricultural population and hamper rural and economic development. In Serbia, agriculture makes up 15 percent of total employment, thus investing in the sector's resilience is crucial for boosting incomes and ensuring food security. 

What can be done to make agriculture more resilient to climate change?

To answer this question the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) brought together representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Serbia, academia, advisory services, and farmers at this year’s agricultural fair in Novi Sad, to share their expertise and knowledge. Participants identified ten actions and steps that could be taken to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change and increase competitiveness of the sector:

1. Strengthening multisectoral cooperation

Through joint and coordinated work, competent ministries, local self-governments, academia, research institutions, farmers and advisory services can help develop comprehensive resilience strategies and find solutions for sustainable rural development and implementation of measures adapted to the local level, for strengthening agricultural resilience.

2. Incorporating practical training and education

Practical training and knowledge-sharing programs can equip students and farmers, but also decision-makers, with the necessary skills and techniques to adapt to climate change and implement sustainable practices on their farms.

3. Establishing appropriate support mechanisms

Developing tailored financial and technical support mechanisms on the local level, helps farmers access all the necessary resources and advisory services, which in turn enhances their capacity to cope with climate change.

4. Investing in climate smart agriculture

Allocating resources to support climate-smart agricultural practices, such as precision agriculture, agroecology and efficient technologies for irrigation and protection of crops from natural disasters, enables farmers to mitigate climate risks, increase productivity and reduce the negative impact on the environment.

5. Building resilient infrastructure

Maintaining existing and building new infrastructure, such as drainage and irrigation canals, hydroaccumulation, agricultural roads, can reduce the risks of natural disasters such as floods and drought.

6. Addressing soil degradation

Physical, chemical and biological soil degradation leads to a decrease in infiltration and retention of water and a decrease in soil fertility. Proper processing, adequate application of fertilizers and protection products, balanced irrigation regime, preserve the foundation of agriculture and ensure sustainable production and food safety.

7. Highlighting the importance of adequate production conditions

Recognizing the needs of plants and animals and providing advice on optimal growing conditions, including proper water management, access to quality production materials, and regular pest and disease control, enables farmers to maintain productivity despite the negative impact of climate change.

8. Providing support to farmers’ organizations

Strengthening farmers' organizations and empowering farmers to collectively adapt to climate change and enable easier access to information, better resource management and allocation, and create new market opportunities.

9. Introducing the issue of climate change into the legal framework

Integrating climate change considerations into agricultural policies, regulations, and legal frameworks ensures a systematic approach to address climate risks and provides a framework for sustainable agricultural practices.

10. Leading by example

Governments, institutions, and influential partners can set an example by implementing sustainable agricultural practices, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and promoting climate resilience, inspiring others, and driving wider adoption of climate-friendly practices across the agricultural sector.


The panel discussion was organized as a part of the project “Strengthening disaster resilience in agriculture”, funded by the European Union and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Serbia.


UN entities involved in this initiative

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Goals we are supporting through this initiative