Serbian farmers object to UAE company acquiring agricultural land

Al Rawafed Agriculture seek land in Serbian village of Kula
Serbian farmers object to UAE company acquiring agricultural land
Photo for illustrative purpose only. (Getty Images)
By Neil Halligan
Mon 21 Jul 2014 11:46 AM

Farmers in a Serbian village have lodged formal complaints against an Abu Dhabi company acquiring agricultural land, according to a report in government-owned Abu Dhabi newspaper The National.

Al Rawafed Agriculture are seeking to acquire lands in the northern Serbian village of Kula, but residents in the area, the majority of whom work in agriculture, are against the contract being signed, fearing a loss of livelihoods if the deal goes through.

The farmers in the area are seeking a termination of the deal, claiming that it would be a breach of agricultural land laws.

The Serbian ambassador to the UAE, Milos Perisic, has confirmed to The National that Al Rawafed Agriculture approached the Serbian government for the land.

“The matter will be resolved involving all parties concerned,” he said. “The government does not intend to undermine the rights of farmers.”

Perisic said it was not the first deal signed by a UAE company for land in Serbia and that the matter would be resolved “amicably”.

“We have good relations with the UAE,” he said. “This issue was raised by local Kula farmers and will soon be discussed and solved.”

Serbia offers agricultural land leases under 99-year contracts. The land is used to grow hay, animal feed, wheat, corn and alfalfa.

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