- Published: 28.10.2022.
Despite all crisis Croatian agriculture showed resilience
The third edition of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Days was officially opened on Friday in Pula, with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković saying that in a crisis, food and food security are of the utmost importance, which is why the role of farmers is crucial and of strategic importance.
He called on farmers to continue "with their valuable and irreplaceable work so that we as a country can fully exploit our potential, develop production and increase exports."
He recalled that this year a strategy for agricultural development in the period until 2030 was adopted and that it had several goals - reducing the use of pesticides by 25%, increasing the share of energy produced from renewables by 15%, securing irrigation for an additional 25,000 hectares of farmland, and increasing the share of the population in rural areas that has access to basic infrastructure by 40%.
"We have secured €3.8 billion for the development of agriculture until 2027, which will be a strong boost to the development of our villages. We have secured €244 million for fishermen and the aquaculture sector, in order to make our products competitive, and soon we expect the confirmation of Croatia's Strategic Plan for the Common Agricultural Policy for the period until 2027," Plenković said.
Noting that since the beginning of the government's term, HRK 35 billion in support had been paid to farmers and fishermen to help them contribute to the strategic goal of food self-sufficiency in Croatia, the prime minister underscored that the Croatian countryside is key to the production of quality and healthy food.
"Croatia is recognised in the European Union for the quality of its products and a large number of local products have a protected designation of origin. We have as many as 35 such protected agricultural products, which puts us in a high seventh place in the European Union," concluded Plenković.
At the conference in Pula, 19 grant agreements with a total value of almost HRK 90 million were awarded to co-finance the use of renewables, the modernisation of technology in pre-industrial wood processing, and the construction of kindergartens and social infrastructure.
Underlining that agriculture, fishing and forestry are activities that connect us with tradition, Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković said that in the past few years, HRK 828 million has been allocated for rural development and that more than HRK 650 million of that amount has been paid out to date.