New Agro-Investment Wave from EU Hits Croatia

Lauren Simmonds

Great news for agro-business!

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 28th of January, 2018, individual businesses and farmers have already embarked on their respective investments to help strengthen their positions on the market, as well as to increase volume and place new products on it.

On Thursday, the final ranking list of users in the tender for operation 4.1.1 was announced, ”The restructuring, modernisation and enhancement of the competitiveness of agricultural holdings”, and for operation 4.2.1. ”The increase in value added to agricultural products” for large users.

In total, around 212 million kuna from EU funds were invested through these two tenders for agricultural companies, cooperatives, OPGs and more, which will stimulate a new investment cycle and trigger a wave of much needed investment in the expansion of production, processing, warehousing and packaging capacities in the meat, dairy, and livestock industries, but also in the fruit and vegetable sector.

In the tender for Operation 4.1.1, worth 80 million kuna, 10 requests were received, of which all were contracted, and for the tender for operation 4.2.1. for large users, worth a massive 120 million kuna, 12 requests were received.

Seven of them have already been contracted, and the total value of the required support from the contracted claims amounts to a huge 116.15 million kuna. Some companies and farmers have already started with their investments which will help them strengthen their respective positions on the market, as well as enable them to sell larger quantities of produce, and introduce the sale of new products.

Through this tender, MI Vajda from the Northern town of Čakovec in Medjimurje withdrew the highest amount of support, 22.67 million kuna is a significant contribution to the realisation of the overall technological modernisation project, which began intensive with the participation of the Pivac Group, and will invest in the project for the reconstruction of meat processing plants.


Ease in modernisation

“It covers the upgrading, reconstruction and modernisation of the production facility, the procurement of machinery and equipment for production, the expansion of warehouse and expedite capacity, and the modernisation of the cooling system, and the total value of this investment is estimated at 50 million kuna. Our emphasis on the fresh meat sector from primary slaughterhouse processing, right through to finalisation, is part of a business policy that will allow for the maximum use of domestic raw materials from their own cooperative breeding and domestic market surpluses, thus contributing to the revitalisation of livestock and general agriculture in Croatia,” stated Vladimir Mesarić from MI Vajda in Čakovec.

In addition to allowing them to create the underlying prerequisites for expanding, conditions for further employment of new staff in Vajda will be opened up.

“Accordingly, we expect that after the completion of the investment process, the number of employees will exceed 300,” concluded Mesarić. Nikola Velicki, director of the Rabo company from Knezevac vineyards, said that support would be good for strengthening the market position.

“A 7.56 million kuna grant is part of a 21 million kuna project, which involves investing in the expansion of warehouse and packaging capacity, putting new products on the market, and infrastructure improvement. We’ve already started on some small works, and throughout this year, this great investment will be realised, which will strengthen our position on the fruit and vegetable market,” Velicki added. On the big companies list, Podravka was also given substantial funds.

Great interest

“These are the final decisions and first year payments from the Rural Development Program under Measure 4. They confirm our plans to make full use of the available 2.4 billion euro by 2020 and to build a good foundation for the stronger development of agriculture, and I’m very glad about the interest in our economies, the interest is coming from all sectors and that testifies to the fact that there is no lack of ideas or knowledge, and with this support they’ll become more competitive and ready for market competition. Money is no longer a problem, with the support from the Rural Development Program, we’ve also agreed to some very favourable lending conditions for the banking sector,” stated the Minister of Agriculture, Tomislav Tolušić, announcing that in the course of 2018, a more than encouraging thirty new tenders from the Rural Program worth 3.7 billion kuna will be published.


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