Diversity and Wealth of the Municipality of Novi Bečej: Geographic Monograph with Overview of Natural Characteristics, Population, Economy, and Settlements

Explore the deeply rooted natural charms and economic potentials of the Municipality of Novi Bečej through a comprehensive geographical monograph. Familiarize yourself with fascinating aspects of the terrain, geology, climate, water bodies, flora, and fauna, while simultaneously delving into vibrant settlements and diverse industries. This informative book provides valuable insights into the richness of this unique Vojvodina region, offering a broad spectrum of information useful for education, regional planning, and preserving local identity.

Economic analysis of agriculture and animal husbandry in Novi Bečej
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Economic analysis of agriculture and animal husbandry in Novi Bečej: Challenges and perspectives (1970-1985)

Contemporary agricultural production, based on scientific principles, integrates both crop and livestock farming, thereby achieving a more rational use of arable land and a more complete finalization of crop production. Therefore, after crop farming, animal husbandry is the most significant branch of agriculture. Leading branches include cattle farming and pig farming, which receive the most attention.

In addition to appropriate investments in the construction and equipment of facilities and adequate animal nutrition, the normal development of intensive animal husbandry assumes overall stable production conditions and timely marketing opportunities for livestock and livestock products. If marketing achieves prices commensurate with the effort invested, it serves as a reliable stimulus for further expansion and intensification of livestock production. However, when these significant prerequisites for stable production are lacking, visible fluctuations occur in production, leading to abrupt changes and declines in production, and significant reductions in livestock numbers, resulting in unforeseen negative consequences for animal husbandry and agriculture as a whole. Due to chronically unfavorable conditions in livestock production and difficult marketing of livestock at adequate prices, there have been several instances of reductions in livestock numbers and significant production fluctuations. For example, in 1970, compared to 1965, the number of dairy cows decreased by 49.8%, leading to a 50% reduction in milk production for an extended period. The total cattle stock decreased by about 30% during the observed period. The lowest point of decline in pig numbers occurred at the transition from 1968 to 1969, reducing this sub-branch of large livestock farming to a minimum. All of this had significant consequences for the further development and recovery of animal husbandry in the Novi Bečej sub-region.

Despite new investments in the development of animal husbandry in the public sector, such as the construction of a livestock feed factory and expansion of pig fattening capacities, fluctuations in livestock and livestock product production continued. Among the causes of this situation in animal husbandry are, among other things, poor and non-functional livestock facilities, diverse non-specialized small-scale production, low productivity per head of livestock, predominantly expensive production, often with losses or on the verge of profitability, highly unstable market conditions, unbalanced relationships between producers, processors, and trade organizations, untimely implementation of economic policy measures, absence of product price agreements before the production process, etc. The most significant problem is the mismatch between the prices of animal feed and meat. Due to these and other factors, livestock production also experienced further declines from 1976 to 1980. This is most reflected in the decrease in meat production during the observed period. For instance, beef production was 228 tons in 1976, reduced to only 122 tons in 1980. Pork production decreased from 414 to 269 tons, and sheep meat production dropped from 62 to only 26 tons.

Due to this unfavorable situation in the development of livestock production, radical changes are foreseen in the municipality from 1980 to 1985. In the desire for general improvement in animal husbandry and rapid increases in livestock numbers, new breeding stock will be acquired, abandoned livestock facilities will be activated and adapted, and new ones will be built. By implementing the social development plan of the municipality for this period, a significant increase in livestock production, primarily in the public sector, is expected to be achieved.

Alongside agricultural production, a certain level of industrial production is also carried out within the Agricultural-Industrial Organization "Pearl Island." It is represented in several basic organizations of associated labor: "Feeds," "2nd October," "Brickworks," and "Pearl."

Closely related to agricultural production is the industrial production of animal feed. This is carried out in the Basic Organization of Associated Labor "Feeds," which produces complete feed and protein mixtures. Due to incomplete technical and technological solutions, this factory operates at only one-third of its capacity. When the planned reconstruction is completed, animal feed production will increase by 2.5 times, which will positively impact overall livestock production in the municipality.

The data indicates that despite the production challenges faced, the livestock feed factory doubles its production every year compared to the previous one, representing a 100% increase. Such production effects are primarily the result of a more efficient organization of the production process and the exceptional efforts of the workers in this basic organization of associated labor.

Due to certain organizational circumstances, within the Agricultural-Industrial Organization "Pearl Island," the production of building materials is also represented. The main product of the Basic Organizations of Associated Labor "Brickworks" from Novi Milošev and "2nd October" from Kumanovo is bricks of standard size. When the "2nd October" factory is reconstructed, it will commence production of bricks and lightweight concrete based on quartz sand. Diversifying the product range in the near future aims to achieve more significant production and overall economic results in this industry branch.

Based on the analysis of production trends in both basic organizations over the past few years, it can be concluded that total production increased in 1980. However, by 1981, production in "2nd October" slightly declined, while in the "Brickworks" remained at the same level as in 1980.

Within the Agricultural-Industrial Organization "Pearl Island," the Basic Organization of Associated Labor "Biser" from Kumanovo also conducts its production. This organization produces chemical agents for washing and cleaning. The main problems arise from irregular and insufficient supply of raw materials, leading to unmet economic expectations. The raw material problem is expected to be finally resolved by the construction of the "Alkamin" factory for the production of fatty acids, petroleum derivatives, and fatty alcohols in Novi Bečej.

Including all the listed basic organizations of associated labor, the Agricultural-Industrial Organization "Pearl Island" has a very diverse qualification structure of the workforce. The majority of employees constitute unskilled labor employed in agriculture. Skilled and semi-skilled workers follow in terms of numbers and representation in the overall qualification structure. Only about 10% of workers have secondary, higher, or university education, which is insufficient considering the organization of modern agricultural and industrial production.

By tracking the total workforce from 1976 to 1980, it is observed that there was a decrease in the workforce during the analyzed period. From 1,199 workers in 1976, the number of workers decreased to 1,094 at the end of the five-year period. Factors contributing to the decrease in the workforce include workers' desire for better job opportunities, better economic conditions, and faster income growth. Some workers acquire higher qualifications through work and leave for Zrenjanin or Kikinda, where working and economic conditions are more favorable, or transfer to another work organization in the municipality for similar reasons.

Since the income of the work organization represents the basic economic category and productivity, profitability, and efficiency are the key performance indicators, attention will also be paid to the basic characteristics of these categories and factors in the Agricultural-Industrial Organization "Pearl Island."

From the dynamics of total income and expenditures, it can be seen that the income of this complex organization of associated labor had a tendency to increase during the observed period, with an average annual growth rate of 10.7%. This ensured the satisfaction of general-social needs, personal incomes, reserve funds, and funds for expanding the material basis of work. It is characteristic that personal income had a downward trend during the observed period, but funds and investments increased significantly, which is expected to generate new economic effects in the coming period.

Productivity, measured by social output per worker, had a negative annual growth rate of -0.2% during the observed five-year period but achieved a positive growth rate already in 1981. Profitability, measured by income per unit of expenditure, initially showed a negative growth rate but later, through exceptional efforts of the workforce and savings in electricity, fuel, and lubricants, exhibited more positive trends. Business efficiency, measured by the size of total income per unit of expenditure, increased in the final phase of the five-year production process. For every 100 units of expenditure, 138 units of total income were generated, which is a very positive indicator.

Considering the overall natural and social conditions of production and the achieved results in agricultural production, adequate economic results are not yet being achieved. Many facilities have been completed through large investment, such as cold storage, corn and wheat dryers, cattle farms, silos, etc. However, all of this should only show certain economic effects in the next period through the overall production process. Therefore, new production programs are being developed for the next period, aiming to achieve a higher level of processing and thus significantly contribute to the accumulation capacity of agriculture. Improving animal husbandry and aligning the sowing structure with real needs and existing land and climatic conditions are expected to increase both crop and livestock production overall. Vineyards and fruit orchards will continue to expand, utilizing the exceptional natural conditions on Pearl Island and satisfactory market prices for high-quality wines such as Krokan, pear brandy, and other products.

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