The total surface area of Serbia is 8,840,000 ha. Agricultural land stretches over (covers) 5,734,000 ha. (0.56 ha. per capita), of which 4,867,000 ha. are arable land (O.46 ha. per capita). Farmland comprises 70% of the total surface area of Serbia, while 30% is woodland.
The climate is temperate continental with an average annual temperature of 11-12°C. The temperatures in January and June average –1 – +1°C and 22-23°C respectively. Average annual precipitation ranges from 600mm to 800mm in the plains and between 800mm and 1,200mm in the mountains.
Land and climate conditions are highly conducive to the development of agriculture. The plains of Vojvodina, Kosovo, Metohija, Pomoravlje, Posavina, Tamnava, Krusevac and Leskovac offer favourable conditions for mechanized field crop farming and vegetable production.
Rolling hills and foothills support fruit and wine production and livestock breeding. The hills and mountains of Zlatibor, Rudnik, Stara Planina, Kopaonik and Sar are attractive for developing sheep and cattle production and forestry.
The Republic of Serbia has a total agricultural labour force of 1,305,426, comprising 17.3% of the total population. According to the latest data, the population engaged in agricultural production is rapidly aging.
The structure of Serbia’s agricultural labour force is as follows: livestock breeding (43%), field crop farming (42%), fruit and wine production (12%), other crops (3%).
Traditional family-owned small farms and private estates prevail, with the average commercial farm occupying 500-700 ha. Family farms consist of small plots and are based on subsistence production, being turned over to commercial use to a smaller degree than European farms.
Agricultural land is cultivated using 425,000 double-axle tractors, 261,000 single-axle tractors, 25,000 combines and more than 3 million machine tools. Rural transport infrastructure is underdeveloped, while agricultural machinery and equipment are in generally poor condition. The average age of tractors is 12 years, while combines average 15 years old.
Mineral fertilizer consumption is 36 kilos per hectare. The use of agrochemicals is fairly low and kept in check, with a highly organized system of regular veterinary, phytosanitary and sanitary inspections.
Serbia’s irrigation system covers 180,000 ha. Yet only 30,000 ha. of cultivated land is irrigated, which means that irrigation in Serbia is minimal. For this reason, potential for greater production of sugar beet, sunflower, soy, vegetables and forage are not fully exploited.
Livestock production is dominated by cattle, while fields and gardens cover most farmland. There is a marked neglect of the potential of meadows, pastures and fields for more intensive and efficient livestock production.
Serbia has a network of agrarian organizations in the form of chambers, farmers’ cooperatives, unions and funds.
According to the most recent data, Serbia numbers 6,000 townships. Rural regions stage numerous events presenting ethno-culture and folk art, including fairs, exhibitions, kermises and various competitions.