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Croatian Agriculture Minister announces buying up 500,000 litres of milk from small farms

ZAGREB, April 2 (Hina) – Agriculture Minister Marija Vuckovic on Thursday announced that the ministry was planning to intervene and buy up 500,000 litres of milk in an effort to help small dairy farmers faced with problems in doing business due to the coronavirus epidemic.

This extraordinary measure refers to buying up milk from 28 small dairy farms that produce 14 million litres of milk a year.

Due to the difficulties to approach farmers’ markets and inability to sell their milk in specialised closed shops, a surplus of milk has accumulated, storage facilities are full and this could lead to a suspension in buying up milk from small farms, Vuckovic explained ahead of a cabinet meeting.

Current forecasts show that the surplus could amount to two million litres by May 10.

“We believe that there will not be that much but we have reserved and foreseen the first quantity of that surplus of 500,000 litres which we will buy out and donate to the authorised mediators in the food supply chain” Vuckovic explained.

Asked whether the ministry planned interventionary measures to buy up surplus fruit and vegetables, Vuckovic said that currently the measure to assist these farmers is being implemented through cooperation with retail chains.

“We will try to establish an online market and in the end, if the market cannot be able to function due to the situation, it is up to the government to try and find a solution for any possible surplus and to maintain production,” Vuckovic said, adding that she believes this will be successful.

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