The objectives of the project were to establish an effective rural development programming and monitoring capacity in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management (MAFWM) & to ensure that the financial management and control system of the MAFWM provides for the efficient and effective use of agricultural subsidies, rural development support schemes and other payments to third party organisations. Both of these specific objectives were part of the process of gradual harmonisation of Serbia with the EU Acquis. The main areas of activity included:
Component 1 - Rural Development Programming:
--> Preparation of a National Rural Development Plan for Serbia, including the definition of rural areas, following the completion of a detailed baseline analysis of rural areas.
--> Development of procedures and tools to support the programming, monitoring and evaluation of the national rural development plan and operational programme.
--> Capacity building of the staff of the Rural Development Department (Programme Management Authority) within MAFWM in the techniques and procedures to identify rural development needs, design interventions (measures) to be funded from the national budget (and potentially other sources of external assistance including EU) and establishment/ operation of an effective Rural Development monitoring and evaluation system.
Component 2 ? Payment system:
--> Establishment and development of an operational Directorate for Payments.
--> Development of procedures and tools, in accordance with Serbian public finance legislation and institutional structures for the implementation, sound financial management and control of agricultural subsidies and rural development support schemes and other payments to beneficiaries, funded from the budget of the Ministry (and potentially other sources of external assistance including EU).
--> Support for the design and establishment of an IT system, in line with relevant EU regulations (namely 1663/95) including the design of an IT strategy, security policy and introduction of a procurement plan, policies, processes and routines to assure effective system operation and maintenance