Charlton Women in Agriculture and Business share Serbia facts

SUPPER: Sandra Weischki and Liz Mickan with some Serbian delights for the Serbian supper.

SUPPER: Sandra Weischki and Liz Mickan with some Serbian delights for the Serbian supper.

Charlton WAB members searched out information on the country of Serbia to present at their recent meeting, Serbia being the chosen 'country of study' for 2019/2020.

Historically Serbia has known many invasions and fought many wars on religious and ethnic issues.

Decimation of the male population in World War One was significant at 60 per cent.

Recent government has been pro European after the country had been under Communist rule for many years.

Serbia is a landlocked country with 60 per cent of its land arable plus forests, but agriculture only contributes 12 per cent to the national economy.

A more stable government is now trying to improve agriculture, and GPD has grown six per cent in recent times. A point of interest is that 18% of farms are held by women.

As well as forestry, maize, sunflower seeds, plums and especially raspberries are grown. Serbia has been the largest producer of raspberries in the world, which was a surprising statistic.

This industry was hit significantly in 2018 with huge crop losses due to adverse weather conditions.

Manufacturing of heavy automotive parts and expertise in clock-making are key contributors to the economy.

Religion is predominantly Serbian Orthodox.

Being a country at the crossroads of East and West it draws on both influences in its cuisine, with heavy emphasis on meat, potatoes and a love of pastries.

Serbians eat seasonally and prefer mild flavours, salt, pepper and paprika being main seasonings. Soup is almost always served before the main meal.

For the enjoyment of members President Liz Mickan and Secretary Sandra Weischki cooked and served some traditional Serbian dishes for supper, cevapi (grilled Serbian sausage) and Krofne (donuts) being two of the dishes.

Having obtained a government grant Charlton WAB is planning a bus tour for the May meeting to study regenerative agriculture on Eastern Eyre Peninsula.