From country marketplace to innovation - Agricultural Center.
In the International year of family farms, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly, the Zadar County strives to enhance conditions for doing business of more than seven thousand family farms, which represent a significant part of agricultural production of the Zadar region.
It is important to highlight that the number of family farms hasn't decreased in the last several years, but is maintained at a similar level,and this is assessed as positive in the County's Administrative department for agriculture and, among other things, it is considered to be the result of measures for which efforts are taken to carry them out.
The greatest number of family farms' owners is engaged in olive growing (more and more of them every year), then viticulture and cattle breeding, and the interest grows for „combining“ of agricultural cultures, fruit and vegetables, for instance, with the production of fish, cheese and dairy products. The basic question is – how to preserve the traditional food production, but also the ability of familiy farms for greater – and joint – presentations on markets, not only in the Zadar County. By a special decision, the Zadar county determined the criteria for realizing incentives in agriculture, fishing and rural development. The budget for financial support to programmes of owners-agricultural producers is one million and 200 thousand Croatian kunas. The funds are predicted for modernization of family farms' production and assistance in managing the market, with the emphasis, at the same time, on sustainable use of nature and preservation of biodiversity.
Concrete activities resulted especially in the organization of a special Country market at which family farms' owners can continually exhibit and offer their products, and where the family farms' owners themselves and users of stands take part in the management and organization of such a market. There was a special seminar for family farms' owners in the Zadar IMPACT center where system of accounting data in agricultural production and management of accounting operations were the subject matter.
Finally, the interest of family farms' owners for the activities of the Agri – food innovation center, founded by the Croatian Chamber of Economy – Zadar County Chamber in the framework of the international project IPATECH, increases. The INPO center and its interaction with family farmers and small agricultural producers shows its justifiability, and the arrival of a mini solar dryer for fruit and vegetables is expected soon. Its utilization will be adapted to the needs and objectives of family farms, and, by that, their competitiveness will increase and joining on the market will be encouraged.