Loans to upgrade Yugoslav farms

Some 50,000 Yugoslav peasant farmers will benefit in loans and services from a new $87 million credit from the World Bank to support a third major project in this country's "green plan" for agriculture, Monitor special correspondent Eric Bourne reports. More than half of the funds will be channeled to Yugoslavia's less-developed southern regions.

For several years, Yugoslav farm policy has been designed to spur cooperation between individual private farmers -- some 2 million of whom own and cultivate about 85 percent of all arable land -- and the so- called social sector operating through integrated factory farms (called "agrokombinats") with the aim of stimulating total productivity.

The new World Bank loan, bringing the bank's total assistance to Yugoslavia for this year to more than $350 million -- coincided with conclusion of a new trade agreement with the European Community. These measures will help stimulate agriculture, both to meet rapidly rising domestic demand and to boost exports to hard-currency countries. The loans and the EC agreement are seen as "insurance" against Soviet intervention as Yugoslavia enters the post-Tito period.

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