Wednesday, 8 December 2021

HRK 77m Earmarked From National Recovery Plan for Digitising Agriculture Sector

ZAGREB, 8 Dec, 2021 - The survival of Croatia's agriculture largely depends on digitisation, the key to increase productivity and the driver of the development of domestic production, for which HRK 77 million is envisaged for investments, a conference on digital farming heard on Wednesday.

Addressing the conference, Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković said that digital technology has the potential to significantly improve farming and that the digital transformation of Croatia's agriculture has been included in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO). 

A total of HRK 77 million is earmarked in the NPOO for the digitisation of the agriculture sector - for digitising public services (HRK 14 million), for smart agriculture (HRK 50 million), and for launching the field-to-table project (HRK 13 million).

Vučković pointed out the ageing structure of family farms and that it is necessary to motivate young people to take over family farms. Digitisation can also compensate for the labour shortage in certain areas, she said.

"We will have the funds, and living in rural communities, with the help of investments in the local and entrepreneurial infrastructure, will be such that there will not be any gap between the quality of life in rural or urban communities," underscored Vučković.

The state-secretary in the ministry, Zdravko Tušek, said that digitisation will contribute to producing high-quality food at competitive prices, among other things.

Efficient agriculture and its competitiveness depend on digital solutions

The transformation and survival of rural communities depend on digital solutions, which already provide support and better efficiency, Danijel Koletić of the conference's organising committee said.

Smart villages are a new concept and it is necessary to educate and inform stakeholders so Croatia's agriculture can be more competitive in the future, he added.

Unfortunately, in Croatia there is not one university that offers a course in digital agriculture, he said.

It is necessary to educate all stakeholders in rural communities to start learning about digital farming because without that Croatia's agriculture cannot be competitive, Koletić added.

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Saturday, 2 October 2021

New Digital Agriculture Programme Launched at Osijek University

ZAGREB, 2 Oct, 2021 - The Faculty of Agribiotechnical Sciences and Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Information Technologies in the eastern city of Osijek are enrolling the first class of students for the new Digital Agriculture programme, Večernji List newspaper says in its Saturday edition.

The programme will be taught in English and will include lecturers from abroad. Admissions to the academic year 2021/2022 are open until 11 October and there are still 20 vacancies left. All first-year students will be exempted from tuition fees.

"With this programme, Croatia has an opportunity to position itself as a centre of excellence for digital agriculture," Zdenko Lončarić, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Agribiotechnical Sciences, was quoted as saying.

"It is important that a programme like this has opened in Slavonia, our most important agricultural region with huge potential for additional development which, unfortunately, has not been sufficiently tapped because of the mass-scale emigration of the population and loss of labour," he added.

Lončarić said he was confident that the new academic programme could slow the negative demographic trend and help Slavonia regain its place among the most important food producers in the EU. 

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