Montenegro - Opportunities and challenges for the future
The vast majority of farms in Montenegro can be considered HNV. In a certain way they demonstrate how ecology and economy can be successfully combined. All of them have developed channels for selling their products. The existing advisory services need to raise their competences and capacity enough to provide appropriate advice to farmers on how to improve the natural value of their farms.
To ensure the long-term conservation of HNV farmland in Montenegro, the policy framework needs to be improved. State aid needs to be linked to ecological requirements, and region-specific advisory options need to be made more readily available. Raising public awareness is one of the key pre-requisites for the future steps in conservation of HNV farmland in Montenegro.
There are several opportunities for HNV farmland and farms which cultivate HNV farmland. On the one hand a type of modern system, which cultivates the available land (owned or low-rent land) with very low input costs and achieves a respectable economic result thanks to the large farmed area, is not only possible but still quite common in Montenegro.
On the other hand (and possibly combined with the first), a further opportunity exists to increase demand for direct-sale products from close-to-nature farms. These farms are mostly organic in practice, though they may not be registered as such. Direct sales from farms have become more and more common recently, especially in the vicinity of main tourist destinations. This will support diversification through increased farm income creation, potentially making a selling-point of the nature values of the farm and the farmed landscape.
These opportunities for the future are very promising, but they should be supported by incentives from agricultural policy in order to maintain HNV farmland and to take proper care of nature and the environment.