Homeland Movement: Croatia has to Support Innovations in Agriculture

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ZAGREB, Aug 11, 2020 – Homeland Movement MPs Vesna Vucemilovic and Ruzica Vukovac said on Tuesday that the state has to support investments to enable the introduction of modern technologies and innovations in agriculture, warning that farms are fighting for survival and have been left to struggle on their own.

“Even though for the past ten years we have recorded a constant, rapid, worrying fall in the number of family-run OPG dairy farms, Croatia is not doing anything to prevent the total collapse of milk and meat production,” MP Vukovac told a press conference.

She added that 50,000 dairy farms had been lost and that milk production during the term of Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic had contracted by 11 percent, the biggest fall in the EU. Not one EU member state has left their agriculture directly to the market, warned Vukovac, adding that civilised countries take care of their food independence.

Policies implemented in Croatia over the past decade have led to the destruction of that sector and emigration from rural areas, she said.

Vucemilovic, a member of the parliamentary committees on economy and on regional development and EU funds, spoke about the decision by the Meggle dairy company to leave Croatia and stop production in Osijek.

“It is absolutely logical to ask how is it that a company that successfully does business in several counties, has in the past decade generated a loss here in Croatia. Numerous parafiscal charges, more than 400, along with taxes are a burden on our enterprises which has also been noted by the European Commission in its reports and recommendations,” said Vucemilovic, adding that the price of an expensive state was eventually paid by workers and farmers.

She added that she believes that Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Natasa Tramisak is more concerned with water supply, sewerage and roads than with problems faced by the agricultural and food industries.

“Until such time that we turn to ourselves and strengthen our strategic economic branches – and agriculture and the food industry are certainly strategic branches – we will depend on aid and funds coming from the EU,” Vucemilovic concluded.


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