July the 26th, 2023 – The Croatian agriculture sector is seeking help in dealing with the consequences of the violent storms many parts of the Croatian interior have been suffering over recent days. Here’s what they want.
As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian Chamber of Agriculture (HPK) recently sent a letter to the Minister of Agriculture, Marija Vučković, requesting urgent help for those in the Croatian agriculture sector. The letter places significant emphasis on farmers, and is related to the storm that hit the country recently.
Loan repayment postponement is sought
The storms which struck Zagreb, Slavonia and other parts of continental Croatia caused enormous damage to a huge number of agricultural areas. In order to mitigate the consequences of this weather disaster, the HPK proposes the following measures: an urgent announcement of intervention 73.02. Investments – The renewal of agricultural potential and the postponement of HBOR and HAMAG BICRO loan payments for one year.
“According to our knowledge, numerous plantations have been destroyed, especially those of winegrowers whose vines have been broken and their reinforcement has also been loosened. It’s impossible to put them all back up properly in a short period of time, which is why there’s now a real a fear of crop failure. These storms have also been greatly damaging to all other plantations and will threaten the eventual harvest of almost all agricultural crops. According to the existing information at our disposal, this isn’t going to be recognised through insurance claims. In addition, across the entire Croatian agriculture sector, there’s been a lot of damage to farm buildings, roofs, external tanks and mechanisation,” reads the letter sent to the Ministry of Agriculture, which was signed by HPK president Mladen Jakopović.
Farmers have already started trying to repair the damage
HPK also pointed out that the tender from operation 5.2.1 was announced on Friday: “The enovation of agricultural land and production potential”. However, the problems of that tender are as follows; the allocation is only two million euros, which according to the first estimates, just isn’t enough to cover all of this sector’s current post-storm needs. Likewise, before the start of rehabilitation, Annex 11 must be filled out by the advisory service, and the question is how quickly they will be able to react at all.
HPK added that those in the Croatian agricultural sector, particularly farmers, have already started repairing the damage they’ve suffered in order to try to save at least part of their crop. New poles for the vineyards have already been purchased as well.
The damage stands at 100% in certain areas
“We’re afraid that according to how the regular procedure is, farmers won’t be able to claim a refund for the work done. The problem of the tender is also the definition of 30 percent of the agricultural potential, because in some plantations, the damage is 100 percent on certain rows, but maybe not on the entire plantation, so the question is how we correctly define the destruction of the agricultural potential of the user in such cases. It must amount to at least 30 percent, which is stated in Annex 1, point 13 of the tender,” explained HPK president Mladen Jakopović.
He added that those in the Croatian agriculture sector who have leased land are also in particular trouble now, especially if the lease is from the state itself, because no new lease tenders have been published and according to the conditions of the tender it says (in Annex 1 point 21); “In the case of the renovation of agricultural buildings/land that is not owned by the user, the user must have concluded a Lease Agreement for a period of at least ten years. This is counting from the moment of submitting the application for support or concluded by 31.12.2030 at the latest. The contract must be concluded between the user and the owner of the agricultural building/land, who is registered as the owner in the land register. The contract must be registered in the land register.”
The above will likely open a can of worms and endless administrative issues for farmers in that situation.