April 6, 2020 – today we sent a letter to Minister of Agriculture Ms. Marija Vučković regarding our initiative “Let’s Plow Croatian Fields!”:
We are addressing you with regard to the situation currently caused by the coronavirus in Croatia, which is already now having a major negative impact on agriculture and the food industry. Since every crisis is also an opportunity, we believe that this opportunity should be harnessed, and Croatian agricultural potential mobilized.
We would like to welcome the work and efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture and we are very pleased to support the measures it has urgently launched in support of Croatian farmers. We are extremely pleased with your work, the work of the entire Government of the Republic of Croatia, and especially the quick response to the new situation in which you have taken all the necessary measures to save the economy in a timely manner. At the same time, we are proud of the extraordinary activities of our civil engineers who, for the last two weeks, have been mobilized and have been inspecting damage to buildings in Zagreb that have been damaged by the devastating earthquake. We are also proud of the activities of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, the Croatian Employers’ Association and the numerous citizens who have taken action to assist the Republic of Croatia.
As we have top experts and 22 years of experience in the field of nature protection, environment and natural resource management, we at Oikon have decided to harness our knowledge and capacities and do what we can and know. We have gathered some of our excellent experts and associates with extensive experience in the fields of agronomy, ecology, forestry and geoinformatics and together we launched an initiative called “Let’s Plow Croatian fields!”.
As a first step, we made a preliminary spatial analysis of the potential of agricultural land in the Republic of Croatia and identified over 400,000 ha of unused agricultural land that could be cultivated or used for food production in a relatively short period of time. Guided by this, our remaining experts are already working on their contribution. Our ecologists are preparing information related to the acceptable cultivation of agricultural land from an environmental and nature point of view so that the cultivation of land does not do unnecessary damage, while our legal service is analysing the legal framework in terms of obligations and rights related to the management and cultivation of land.
It is important to emphasize that our initiative was launched with the intention of being complementary to the activities of the Ministry of Agriculture and other state institutions. We want to bring together everyone who can help and put our facilities at your disposal. We are convinced that the entire Croatian scientific community is willing and can contribute to the strengthening of Croatian agriculture.
By launching this initiative, the Oikon Institute has no commercial, political, marketing or any other interest other than the interest to initiate and mobilize, both the people and other companies, associations and institutions, all for the benefit of the Republic of Croatia and Croatian citizens.
In the hope that you will welcome our initiative and that you are willing to cooperate with us in this area, our databases, detailed maps and any further analysis are made available to you. We will also provide the same upon written request and free of charge to local self-government units, the Paying Agency for Agriculture and other participants who are key in the creation and implementation of agricultural policies.
Finally, I would like to inform you that we have more ideas that could be launched, and we would be happy to discuss with you if there are opportunities for this on your side. We remain at your disposal.
Dalibor Hatić, mag. ing. silv., CE