Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Lawmakers Happy With Ban on Pesticides Hazardous for Bees

ZAGREB, 30 March 2022 - Lawmakers on Wednesday welcomed a ban on the use of pesticides that are hazardous to bees during spring blossoming to avoid a repeat of the situation of June 2020 when millions of bees in Međimurje died.

"It turned out that that resulted partially due to the incorrect use of pesticides", state secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Tugomir Majdak said during a debate in the Sabor on a bill on the sustainable use of pesticides. 

He added that beekeepers were compensated for the loss without noting the amount involved.

Majdak explained that anyone using products for protection during agricultural activities has to report what they are using to the Croatian Beekeepers Association or its local representatives.

Lawmakers pointed out that some pesticides were fake, while others warned of the problem of imported fruit and vegetables treated with banned pesticides.

Majdak: Croatia has more than 100,000 hectares with organically-grown products

Majdak explained that in Croatia more than 100,000 hectares, or 10% of total land registered in the Arcod System, is planted with organically-grown products and the aim is to increase that even further.

He added that Croatia is in the process of adopting an action plan for organically-grown products and that the use of sustainable pesticides and organic production is "our practice."

In light of the concern expressed by MPs given the negative effects of Russia's aggression on Ukraine and its impact on the food market as well as the drought, which could cause the need for additional pesticides to be used, Majdak said that the situation with crops is good and that a certain quantity of precipitation is expected, so there is no need for any additional effort regarding the protection of plants.

He confirmed that aerial spraying is banned while online sales of pesticides are not currently regulated by law.

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Sunday, 29 August 2021

New Pig Breeding Centre in Glina Arouses Hope of Agricultural Recovery

ZAGREB, 29 Aug, 2021 - A newly-built pig breeding centre, the first commercial facility to be built in Sisak-Moslavina County after the 29 December 2020 earthquake, restoring hope of agricultural recovery, was officially opened at Novo Selo Glinsko on Sunday.

The centre was built with the help of donations, and similar centres will be built with the help of EU and national funds to help revitalise agricultural production in the Banovina region.

The centre, located at a family farm owned by Ivo Bradarić,  was opened by Agriculture Ministry State Secretary Tugomir Majdak.

The centre has a capacity of 16 breeding sows and 80 piglets, and it currently has 10 breeding sows, donations by five Slavonian counties, and 24 piglets.

Novo Selo Glinsko is an agricultural community, where co-operative pig breeding has had a long tradition and the new centre is expected to mark the start of agricultural recovery in the earthquake-struck area, said Majdak.

He noted that the centre could serve as a potential model for further reconstruction of commercial farm facilities following the earthquake.

"We intend to enable all family farms in the earthquake-struck area to rebuild their properties," he said.

Glina Mayor Ivan Janković said the centre would serve as a lever of development of the wider area of Glina and enable more farmers to join the newly-established pig breeding co-operative.

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Thursday, 4 March 2021

Croatian Parliament (Sabor): About 75 kg of Food thrown Out in Croatia Annually Per Head

ZAGREB, 4 March, 2021 - About 75 kilograms of food is thrown out each year in Croatia per head, lawmakers underlined on Thursday during a debate on an agriculture bill which among other things regulates the prevention of waste food.

"Food waste has reached a value of 20% of the total amount of food produced in Europe and on the global level losses amount to one-third of all the food produced, while in Croatia we throw out 75 kilograms of food each year per head," said MP Marijana Petir of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) caucus.

The agriculture bill, she said, would be the basis for documents that will regulate more clearly activities regarding food donations and preventing food waste, but also a system of quality food production.

The EU foresees reducing food waste by 50% by 2030 and we too have to achieve that aim, Petir underscored. "Any reduction of throwing out food means less pressure on farmland and reduced consumption of water, pesticides, and fertiliser."

MP Marija Selak Raspudić (Bridge) said that a quality system of food donations is important given the increasing poverty, but added that the bill does not provide a clear plan and that the most important thing would be to establish a food bank.

Anka Mrak Taritaš (GLAS) too underlined the need for a food bank so that surplus food can be distributed at the national level.

State Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry Tugomir Majdak said that the amount of donated food in 2019 had increased by 30% compared to 2018 and amounted to 1.5 million tonnes.

With regard to reducing food waste, Majdak explained that a guide has been prepared for food donations, a feasibility study for a food bank has been prepared, and tax reliefs on food donations have been defined.

The amendments to the law will align it with EU regulations regarding the prevention of food waste.

Monday, 1 June 2020

Minister, State Secretary and PM's Aide to Testify in Wind Park Scandal

ZAGREB, June 1, 2020 - Agriculture Minister Marija Vuckovic, state-secretary in her ministry, Tugomir Majdak and deputy chief of staff in the prime minister's office, Tena Misetic will testify in the wind park scandal involving former state secretary Josipa Rimac, Hina heard from sources close to the probe.

Vuckovic, Majdak and Misetic will be questioned as witnesses because their names were mentioned during wiretapping of conversations Rimac, a former state secretary in the Administration Ministry until last week when she was dismissed after the scandal broke out.

According to sources with close knowledge of the investigation, Rimac allegedly mentioned Misetic in a conversation with Anton Sladic, a businessman from Sibenik, who is a suspect in the scandal. Rimac informed Sladic that Ruzica Njavro, chief of staff at the Agriculture Ministry, had allegedly contacted the prime minister's deputy chief of staff to accelerate the process and approve subsidies.

Rimac allegedly reminded Sladic to submit an application to the ministry along with Zagreb businessman Josip Ravlic, another suspect in the case, and that the ministry "would not be able to ignore the application because the caretaker government can adopt regulations."

Majdak is mentioned in the conversation between Rimac and Sladic in which Rimac, who used to be the mayor of Knin, allegedly said that Dean Zoran Grgic of the Faculty of Agronomy had spoken with Majdak and sent him an email in which he listed objections in an attempt to have the regulation on the lease of forest land, amended. The USKOK anti-corruption office claims that the amendments curried favour with Sladic.

At the motion of the USKOK anti-corruption office, a Zagreb County Court investigating judge on Saturday set one month's detention for Rimac and another six suspects in this case involving the construction of a wind park in the Dalmatian hinterland.

Detention was also set for Natasa Turbic, the ruling HDZ party's head of Gracac municipality, Njavro, Marinko Tokmacija, a Knin city councillor, and the businessman Sladic. They have been detained to prevent them from witness tampering. The judge dismissed USKOK's motion that the suspects be placed in custody also to prevent them from possibly repeating their crimes.

Detention was also set for C.E.M.P. company owner Milenko Basic and director Dragan Stipic, both of whom are beyond the reach of Croatian police.

Besides Rimac, Turbic, Njavro, Tokmacija, Sladic, Basic and Stipic, criminal reports were filed against Hrvatske Sume forest management company CEO Krunoslav Jakupcic, the head of its Split branch, Ivan Melvan, the head of the Croatian Energy Regulatory Agency, Tomislav Jurekovic, Zagreb businessman Ravlic, Knin businessman Nikola Lapcic and Ana Mandac, an assistant economy minister sacked last Friday.