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Agriculture and food production key to development and survival of eastern Croatia

ZAGREB, Sept 15 (Hina) – Agriculture and food production are key to the development and survival of eastern Croatia, the Croatian Agriculture Chamber (HPK) said on Tuesday, underscoring the importance of investments in processing capacities and energy projects for farms.

“The key objective is to strengthen competitiveness in food production through subsidies for the production and sale of energy, HPK president Mladen Jakopovic said in a press release following talks with the competent ministers.

Representatives of HPK’s eastern region branch, which includes five counties (Vukovar-Srijem, Osijek-Baranja, Brod-Posavina, Pozega-Slavonia  and Virovitica-Podravina), met on Monday with Agriculture Minister Marija Vuckovic, Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Natasa Tramisak and Economy Ministry state secretary Iva Miletic.

Jakopovic said that HPK is aware that the government is investing maximum effort towards growth and the development of rural areas, but the corona crisis has shown that “additional effort is required to move away from dependence on the service industry towards innovation and production.”

“Agriculture directly impacts all sectors in the state (health, energy, transport, environment, new jobs, trade, innovation, digitisation, national security of borders etc). By strengthening and protecting agriculture, other sectors too are strengthened,” said Jakopovic.

HPK said they were pleased that the government sees self-sufficiency in food and low carbon energy transition as one of the first objectives of economic sovereignty.

HPK said in its press release that Minister Vuckovic announced the possibility of farmers being permitted to sell electricity on the market, which would be one way to supplement their income, as has been the practice in developed EU countries for years.

She underscored that the Rural Development Programme provided for cofinancing reconstruction and equipment projects with a value of up to €200,000.

Minister Tramisak, HPK said in it press release, presented the key objectives of the EU’s Recovery Plan, noting that Croatia has about €6 billion at its disposal to revive entrepreneurship, including a significant amount earmarked for agriculture.

HPK believes that it is essential to amend legislation on farmland and to adapt it to the needs and demands of farmers.

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