Friday, 20 May 2022

Croatia's Area Under Vineyards Increases by 7% Since 2019

ZAGREB, 20 May 2022 - The Ministry of Agriculture on Friday reported that according to the Croatian Bureau of Statistics, in 2021 the area covered with vineyards increased by 7% compared with 2019 and now amounts to 21,213 hectares.

This has resulted to a large extent from the Ministry's contribution of HRK 416 million (€55.5 million) from national aid schemes from the 2019 - 2023 wine envelope.

The ARKOD register in the Agriculture Payment Agency has 18,126 hectares registered with vineyards which relate to areas receiving subsidies and professional wine producers.

The difference can be attributed to vineyards kept as a hobby and others which also strongly contribute to Croatia's wine production, the ministry said.

The ministry notes that the measures within the wine envelope also encompass the Restructuring and Conversion measure with HRK 90 million in support, HRK 56 million of which has been paid so far.

At the same time, HRK 298 million has been made available under the Investments in enterprises measure.

In reference to the hardship experienced during the corona crisis, in addition to increasing the intensity of subsidies in the wine envelope, two crisis measures were introduced in 2020 and 2021 which the European Commission approved during Croatia's presidency of the EU.

About HRK 76 million was invested in 2020 alone to help stabilize the market against the backdrop of a drastic fall in wine sales during the COVID crisis, the ministry said.

(€1 = HRK 7.529183)

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Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Dairy Farmers Say Farm Gate Price Insufficient to Cover Production Costs

ZAGREB, 18 May 2022 - Milk producers on Wednesday reported about a meeting with the ministers of agriculture and finance, Marija Vučković and Zdravko Marić, at which they warned the ministers that the milk farm gate price was insufficient to cover production costs.

"The situation in the dairy sector is dramatic, if concrete action is not taken, we fear the sector will continue to collapse, dairy farms will continue to be closed, and the number of dairy cows will continue to fall, as will the quantity of milk produced," the Croatian Chamber of Agriculture (HGK) said in a statement.

Igor Rešetar of the HGK Dairy Sector Committee says the Agriculture Ministry had done a lot in the past three years but not enough since dairy farms had been affected by crises on the global food and energy markets as well as by problems caused by the war in Ukraine.

Dairy sector representatives said that the farm gate price of milk had increased by 28% since June 2021 but that they received information from primary producers on a daily basis saying that their production costs had increased by more than 300%.

The farm gate price of milk should be increased because crop husbandry costs, which are also rising, will in the autumn affect cattle breeding and milk production, they said.

Dairy farmers also called for increasing subsidies, reducing VAT on dairy products as well as investment costs, etc.

Recalling the government support to the sector so far, the Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement that the government would continue providing comprehensive solutions and called on stakeholders in the dairy supply chain to invest additional effort in order to maintain the current production level.

The ministry also noted that work was underway on the adoption of a programme for the development of the national dairy sector in the period until 2030 with strategic goals, priorities and measures designed to make the sector stronger and more competitive.

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Sunday, 20 March 2022

NGO: Croatia Provides Free Vaccination, Registration for Animals From Ukraine

ZAGREB, 20 March 2022 - Animals and family pets that arrive from Ukraine with their owners fleeing the war, will be eligible to free-of-charge vaccination and registration in Croatia, the association "Animal Friends Croatia" stated on Sunday.

The association recalls that the administration of Veterinary and Food Safety of the Ministry of Agriculture has issued detailed instructions and a list of veterinary organisations and vet clinics that conduct free-of charge rabies vaccination, preventive dehelmintization and microchipping.

The NGO also stated on 18 March on its web site that "the administration of Veterinary and Food Safety of the Ministry of Agriculture has published a form to be completed for each animal that came from Ukraine."

Animal Friends Croatia posted a notice in Ukrainian and Croatian language on their website and asked everyone to spread the word about this obligation, which is also a prerequisite for microchipping and vaccination.

"It is important that each arriving animal is recorded as soon as possible. The Administration noted that the order regarding the free arrival of animals from Ukraine applies exclusively to animals that come with their owners. Abandoned animals from Ukraine must not be brought to Croatia, but they can help them in other ways."

For more on this and politics in Croatia, check out our dedicated politics section.

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Farmers Say There is Enough Wheat

ZAGREB, 2 March 2022 - Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković and farmers, who held talks on the  stocks of cereals, concluded that there were sufficient amounts of wheat and that there was no need for concern in light of the Ukraine crisis, the ministry said in a press release on Wednesday.

Farmers reported that there are sufficient stocks and there is no need to worry about any possible shortage of wheat.

Noting that Ukraine is the fifth largest wheat exporter and the biggest exporter of seed oils, participants at the meeting agreed that due to the crisis in Ukraine the sowing season will be particularly challenging and the survival of other agricultural products is an important factor for farmers.

The meeting also discussed the impact of the increased price of gas and mineral fertilisers on the sowing season and also the autumn sowing season.

Representatives of the meat industry commended the ministry's measures so far but expressed their fear over current challenges facing the livestock breeding sector.

Vučković underscored that she shared their concern over market disruptions, assessing the further interest in the investment cycle as positive, which began with a call for applications to invest in repro centres and continued with investments in fattening facilities.

She added that during 2021 Croatia managed to notify a large number of measures before the European Commission, and will continue to do so with the objective of finding a solution to these specific circumstances.

The ministry recalled that it is preparing a programme for agriculture and fisheries, valued at HRK 250 million, and recalled the government's package of measures to buffer increased energy prices, including the lowering of VAT on food and agricultural inputs to the 5-percent rate.

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Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Over 2,000 Jobs Saved Thanks to Financial Instruments for Rural Development

ZAGREB, 3 Jan 2022 - Over 2,000 jobs have been saved and 54,000 animals purchased thanks to financial instruments under the Rural Development Programme, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Monday.

fi-compass, the European Commission's platform for advisory services on financial instruments, is preparing a brochure on a case study of the Croatian micro and small loan scheme as an example of good practice for other EU members to follow. This is the result of positive ratings by end-users and the successful use of funding from financial instruments of the Rural Development Programme which Croatian farmers used in 2019 more than farmers in any other EU member state, while in 2020 the primacy was taken over by Poland and Croatia was second, the ministry said.

The ministry said that the total amount of funding from the financial instruments had increased several times, from the initial HRK 536 million to HRK 782 million, with HRK 437 million disbursed to 1,216 end users by the end of October 2021.

"Thanks to the projects supported by the financial instruments, more than 54,000 animals have been purchased and more than 2,300 jobs have been opened or preserved," the ministry said.

It noted that micro and small loans for rural development have been available under the Rural Development Programme since 2018, adding that 83 percent of their users are micro-businesses and 21 percent are young farmers. In order to contribute to generational renewal, the new program period 2023-2027 will make it possible for young farmers to buy land without any limits in the total value of the investment.

In December 2021, the ministry carried out a survey among 575 respondents, including some of the present end-users of financial instruments, and they rated the system of implementing financial instruments as very positive. The interest rate, which is 0.46 percent on average for all loans, was given the highest rating by 79 percent of users, while nearly a third of respondents said they had applied for a financial instrument and had their application granted in 92 percent of cases.

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Saturday, 25 September 2021

Croatia Participating in ‘One With Nature’ Exhibition in Budapest

ZAGREB, 25 Sept, 2021 - Croatia is participating in the world's biggest hunting and nature exhibition, "One with Nature", which opened in Budapest on Saturday, featuring Croatian Forests, the Chamber of Commerce, the National Tourist Board and the Croatian Hunting Association, the Agriculture Ministry said.

Croatia's presentation focuses on its nature, the diversity of its wildlife habitats, its forestry, founded on over 250 years of expert management, biodiversity, as well as on 140 years of organised hunting.

"One with Nature" closes on 14 October.

After attending the opening, Croatian Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković met with her Hungarian counterpart Istvan Nagy to discuss cooperation, assistance in cattle breeding, and the EU Forest Strategy.

Vučković said Croatia was for the principle of subsidiarity and for reducing administrative burdens, the ministry said.

She underlined the importance of identifying forestry's multifunctional role, keeping in mind forests' contribution to the life of rural communities and their impact on rural economies.

Sustainable forest management must be the focal point of the EU strategy, she said.

Croatia and Hungary have excellent cooperation in many areas such as the Višegrad Group and the Danube Soya initiative as well as in cattle breeding, veterinary medicine and food safety, the ministry said.

The two ministers also talked about possible cooperation in freshwater aquaculture and forest reproductive material.

Croatia's agricultural and food exports to Hungary rose by €6.2 million (+5%) last year, while imports dropped by €9.4 million (-3%).

At the opening of the exhibition, Vučković also met with Vietnamese Ambassador to Croatia Nguyn Thi Bich Thao.

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Monday, 28 December 2020

Ministry of Agriculture Calls for Less Food Waste During Holidays

ZAGREB, Dec 28, 2020 - The Ministry of Agriculture on Monday appealed to citizens to try and reduce the amount of food thrown out during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

The festive season is a time of giving and plenty when we prepare and consume a great amount of food and drink, the ministry underscored, noting that rarely do people eat everything they bought and prepared.

Surveys have shown that about 53%, or even up to 70% according to some surveys, of food thrown out comes from households, the ministry said in a press release.

The ministry hence recalled that it had launched a series of activities during the year aimed at raising awareness among consumers regarding the problem of excessive food waste in Croatia, with the purpose of changing habits and behaviour with food in households, the workplace, in schools, in stores or in restaurants.

The ministry appealed to citizens to try and reduce the amount of food wasted in each household during the festive season by applying a series of pointers, such as planning shopping lists and rational buying without creating unnecessary stores.

"Let's be socially sensitive throughout the year and share groceries and surplus food with those in need," the ministry underlined.

The ministry recalled that reducing the amount of food waste means decreasing household costs and that contributes to a personal feeling of satisfaction because food is not being thrown away. 

The ministry called on citizens to participate in trying to achieve the goal of halving the amount of food wasted by 2030.

Friday, 20 November 2020

39 New Subsidy Agreements Valued at HRK 42 mn Sent to Farmers

ZAGREB, November 20, 2020 - The Paying Agency for Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development has sent 29 new agreements to farmers around Croatia related to two measures from the Rural Development Programme for an acceptable investment amount of almost HRK 90 million, for which HRK 42 million has been secured in subsidies. 

The Ministry of Agriculture said in a press release that 20 agreements relate to cattle breeding with subsidies valued at HRK 33.5 million, while the total acceptable amount of investments amounts to more than HRK 71 million.

Nine agreements for which subsidies valued at HRK 8.6 million have been made available relate to managing and handling organic fertiliser, while the value of the total investments amounts to HRK 18.6 million.

Projects submitted for support under operations 4.1.1. and 4.1.2 of the Rural Development Programme can amount to €500,000 (HRK 3.75 million) and €300,000 (HRK 2.25 million) respectively, with subsidies covering 50% of the acceptable costs.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Ministry of Agriculture Purchases 74 Fire Engines for Croatian Firefighters

While it hasn't officially begun yet according to the calendar, it really feels like summer has finally arrived on the Croatian shores after a spring of tumultuous weather and rather cool temperatures. The rays of the sun are growing stronger each day and we're now more stable in the mid twenties to early thirties on the thermometer. A far cry from a rain-filled May.

With the heat and the abundance of sunshine come a problem that Croatia, like many Mediterranean countries, is forced to deal with on an annual basis - wild fires. 

These fires have ravaged parts of Dalmatia over the last few summers, causing untold damage not only to the environment but to homes, buildings and cars. Some were caused naturally, and it appears that in the past, some have unfortunately been started on purpose. The reasons behind such destructive acts remain a mystery. 

Natural or otherwise, wild fires spread like... well, wild fire, and an extremely quick response from the authorities is necessary to prevent them from becoming out of control, which is something that can happen in a very short time, particularly in parched, dry Dalmatian forests.

As Morski writes on the 13th of June, 2019, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia and Agriculture Minister, Tomislav Tolušić, will go to the Public Fire Station in Novi Zagreb at 14:00, in the name of the delivery of 74 fire engines purchased by the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture within the scope of a specific firefighting program which took place back in 2018.

Based on the Agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Croatian Fire Department on the implementation of the activities of equipping and training Croatian fire brigades in 2018, the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture procured 74 new firefighting vehicles, 2,200 new sets of protective equipment, and funded the complete training of 6,000 new firefighters.

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