Value of Croatian Agricultural Production Drops Significantly

Lauren Simmonds

As Novac/Zlatko Simic writes on the 3rd of September, 2019, the value of Croatian agricultural production has unfortunately fallen from 33 billion kuna to a mere 16 billion kuna, the number of pigs has dropped dramatically from 2 million to about 800,000, and Croatian milk production has fallen from 900 million to only 400 million litres.

Considering that Croatia has increased its meadow and pasture surface areas from 300,000 hectares to as much as 600,000 hectares, and that only twelve percent of Croatian farmers pay their taxes while remaining below the taxman’s shears, it is still evident that agricultural policies in this country, at least so far, have not managed to rectify the many challenges facing producers before and after Croatia’s accession to the European Union.

Due to all of the negative trends in agriculture, Croatia needs a much clearer agricultural strategy that will be based on the real and current situation in production, productivity, and aid distribution. However, the direction in which the World Bank started to develop a strategy for that is not good for the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture, and there is a lot of ambiguity to be found in it. In addition, it also contains information that does not maintain or stay quite true to the real and rather unfortunate current situation in Croatian agriculture.

This is the main conclusion from an expert discussion on a World Bank document entitled Sector Status and Analysis of Public Expenditure on Agriculture and Rural Development, recently published on the Ministry of Agriculture’s website, which should ideally have underpinned the future development of the Croatian agriculture strategy.

The gathering on all things agricultural brought together representatives of agricultural associations, producers, institutions and large agricultural companies, who emphasised the fact that the World Bank, which hired its own experts as well as Croatian ones, did not adequately address the problems of the Croatian agricultural industry, the reasons for the decline in production, and the inefficiency of large funds that failed in investment in agriculture.

The group also argued that as yet, no concrete results have actually been produced.

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