Made in Croatia

Exotic Zagorje Banana Plantation Expanding to Serbia, Ivory Coast...

By 4 January 2022

January the 4th, 2022 - Did you know that a Zagorje banana plantation exists on the very borders of the much loved Medvednica Nature Park? Head to Donja Stubica if you don't believe us.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the owner of the Zagorje banana plantation rejected all of the typical and traditional local culture and started growing bananas and other unusually exotic fruits on the rolling green hills of Zagorje. Western Europe is his market, and he's expanding production down to Dalmatia, neighbouring Serbia, Albania, and all the way to the distant Ivory Coast. Meet Ivan Sulog, a most unusual Croatian farmer.

At the very border of the Medvednica Nature Park, where Donja Stubica borders Gornja Podgora, Mr. Ivan Sulog planted the very impressive Zagorje banana plantation.

''These are Indian bananas which are older than even the dinosaurs, they survived the ice age,'' explained Ivan for HRT.

''Indian bananas got that name because they were primarily eaten by the Indians, and banana because they taste just like eating banana cream. And that's how the Indian banana got its name. Unlike the chokeberry which you typically buy once and never again because they're too bitter and strong, this is something you try once and want more,'' Ivan explained.

''I heard a story about a lunatic planting bananas, and later I found out that I work for that lunatic!'' said Ivan's employee Mirjana Djurin. The Zagorje banana plantation doesn't just boast the famous curved yellow fruit, but also passion fruit, chili, Surinamese cherries, Indian bananas, juzu, kumquat, and so on. Quite obscure indeed for continental Croatia.

''People hear what I do, and it sounds so beautiful and exotic to them, they expect that my yield is always good and that I'm raking in the cash, which isn't really the case,'' Ivan explained.

''These are the first urban orchards, probably the first in all of Europe, there are urban gardens in Zagreb, where people come and take 20 square metres, and someone maintains it for them or they maintain it themselves. We've got more or less then same model here, if you don't have land, you can't plant your bananas. From now on, people can rent five bananas from us, put your name on them and all of the other information you want, and we take care of them until the harvest,'' said Ivan.

Now the unusual Zagorje banana plantation has even spread its wings and outgrown the borders of Croatia, starting up business in neighbouring Serbia, Indian bananas have been planted down in in Montenegro, and Albania is next on the cards, the Ivory Coast, too.

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