18 Million Kuna Project on Jakljan: Five Thousand Fig Trees to be Planted

By 22 August 2017

The reason for ''unknown people and machinery'' on Jakljan is finally revealed!

The usual suspicions are probably obvious. Unknown people, machinery and silence about what is going on. Of course, some swanky hotel was the first thought in many people's minds, but the story seems far more unusual and in many ways far more positive than the original version which could have otherwise been expected to go a bit like ''Rich Russian builds hotel''.

As DuList reports on the 22nd of August, 2017, after a little research, this suspected ''luxury resort'' turned out to be an agricultural project, and as the Dubrovnik publication has learned, what we're talking about is nothing to do with Russians, hotels or tourism, but the ecological breeding of autochthonous figs and almonds. To make things even better, two Croatian entrepreneurs Gnjidić from Rijeka who, through their company G.R.M. rent part of the land on Jakljan, while the second part of the project will be on Šipan, the island with which they fell in love during a holiday in southern Croatia.

DuList inquired about the situation and the Dubrovnik Diocese confirmed that part of the land on Jakljan was indeed rented to the Rijeka company. The piece of land has been leased to the company for thirty years purely for the purpose of growing figs. The contract was signed on March the 31st, 2015.

''I can confirm that we started implementing a project to raise the annual almond and fig tree plantations on the islands Jakljan and Šipan. This project is worth HRK 18 million and is co-financed from EU funds and the Croatian budget in the amount of HRK 15.5 million'' said Vanja Gnjidić for G.R.M.

''This is a highly valuable project not only economically but also for the revitalisation for the entire Dubrovnik area, because if we exclude the area of ​​Pelješac and Konavle there is virtually no agriculture, and we've learned that during ancient times, the Elaphite islands could feed Dubrovnik with olives and olive oil as it produced so much.

Owing to modern lifestyles and tourism, the terrain has become completely clogged. This is a pearl that has great potential, not just in tourism but also in agriculture. No matter how challenging it is to raise the fig trees on a deserted island, we have decided on ecological farming, which will maximally preserve the existing vegetation due to its diversity. I believe we'll succeed because we're passionate about this project. To indigenise fig leaves and almonds in a sustainable manner is our desire and story, and the exotic nature of the location will ease the way for consumers through the story we will market in the industry,'' stated Gnjidić.

In response to DuList's query about when they expect such a return, the answer was that the project is a long-term investment.

"It would be nice if we could expect a return [sooner] but we'll need to wait four to five years before we get some ''concrete'' fruit. On the other hand, part of the plantation on the island of Šipan will be almonds which will be planted with the latest technology so they'll give a slightly earlier return,''

Asked what brought the company to Šipan and Jakljan, Gnjidić replied that he had travelled for a long time and that there was nowhere more beautiful than Istria and Dubrovnik.

"What is good about southern Croatia is the climate, there is not too much rainfall, but enough for the production of figs and almonds''. It was also added that they uncovered Šipan's incredible beauty and kind hearted population when holidaying in southern Dalmatia.

''We wish to cooperate with them [the local population] in this project, they helped us with advice and experience. We look forward to the revitalisation of the islands in Croatia in general, and among them we definitely see the Elaphite islands who are currently neglected. I think they have enormous potential'' says Vanja Gnjidić.


Translated from