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ŠUMARSKI LIST 3-4/2017 str. 53     <-- 53 -->        PDF

whilst negative growth rates were recorded for all the categories of products (mushrooms) (Figure 6). The increase in the average rate of growth was achieved in the purchase of a mixture of wild berries (15%) and wild strawberries (13.2%). The placement on domestic and foreign market showed positive growth rate in cases of dog rose (placement on the domestic market increased 12.2%), whilst in the placement on the foreign market positive growth rate was recorded for raspberry 17.9% and blueberry 2.8%).
Compared with other categories of NWFPs in the statistical region of Šumadija and Western Serbia in the segments of purchase and export mushrooms and berries were dominant categories of NWFPs, while berries were dominant in the placement on the domestic market (Figure 7).
Non-wood forest products present forest ecosystem value added and they could be a generator of development and innovative forest management. Consequently, forest owners should recognise economic effects of adaptive forest management in the future and ensure development of non-wood forest products and services in the market.
The analysed companies were established during the period between 1990 and 2005 and they were predominantly involved in the processing of mushrooms, berries and medicinal plants. The companies showed variations concerning the degree of product processing. Some of the companies surveyed sold products at a high level of finalisation, whilst the remaining companies had performed only primary processing (cleaning, sorting, measuring, etc.) prior to the product placement.
Seasonal workers were frequently hired in the summer and autumn to collect NWFPs, when the yields of product are the higest. The importance of SMEs is recognized at the global level, as they contribute to economic and social development (Sharman and Wadhawan 2009), and this is especially evident in companies involved in NWFPs. The reason is reflected in the fact that such companies do not require large initial investments and are often founded as small family companies. In addition to advantages such as flexibility, adaptability to change and innovation, SMEs are faced with obstacles (Beck and Demirguc-Kunt 2006) primarily occurring under the influence of globalisation, and due to a difficult access to foreign markets (Acs et al. 1997). In addition, the problems faced by the companies surveyed: the lack of adequate markets, difficulty in the collection of receivables and customer disloyalty and competition, as well as difficult soil conditions particularly in Central Serbia.
In Southeast Serbia, the largest purchase stations were: Boljevac, Aleksinac, Svrljig, Niš and Leskovac. Concerning Šumadija and Western Serbia the most important purchase stations were located in: Šabac, Valjevo, Loznica and Kruševac. In the region of Belgrade, the purchase of raw materials was carried out depending on the product from the entire territory of the Republic of Serbia, yet primarily from the Central, Eastern and Southeastern part of the country. Businesses in Central Serbia used on average 52.5% of installed generating capacity (Keča and Bogojević 2013), 61%