A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
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The misery of Croatian agriculture



Goran Dulic, According to Courrier des Balkans

1


Article published in Terre-net Média



Croatian agriculture has faced several crises over the last twenty years, but recent EU membership and the ultra-liberal policies pursued by the government in Zagreb could well be the fatal blow to the industry.


The security once provided by products placed on CEFTA export markets is no longer on the agenda. Croatian farmers are now at the mercy of market competition, forced to fight much stronger opponents, in a match of unequal forces. In addition to the technological and material advantages, the opponents of Croatian farmers receive powerful protection based on a policy of the survival of the fittest.

It is only in Croatia, where despite the start of the harvest, do we not yet know the redemption price of wheat. This current situation is a face-off between buyers and farmers: the first offer 1.05 kunas (0.14€) for a kilo of wheat, the second demand 40 lipas (0.05€) more.

When reporters asked Tihomir Jakovina the Minister of Agriculture to comment on farmers’ demands and explain how the state can protect local producers, he replied: “The market sets the prices!”.


FALL IN PRODUCTION

It is precisely because of this neoliberal notion of agriculture and agricultural production that data from the Central Bureau of Statistics shows that the physical volume of gross agricultural production last year fell by 10% compared to the previous year.

The fall in crop production amounted to 12.3%, while livestock production is falling by 6.8%. The latest information on the most important agricultural sector, livestock, reveals that the total amount of milk produced decreased by 20.8% in May 2013 compared to May 2012, and compared to the average of 2012 there is a drop of 10%.

Comparing this data, especially that related to wheat and milk, with the unreasonable and unjustified increase in bread and milk prices in supermarkets we come to the simple conclusion that it is only investors and commissioners of large retail chains that make profits.


A TIME BOMB

Each month there are 30 million litres less of milk produced. Over 3,000 milk producers were forced to close business last year. One wonders what we drink, since Croatia needs 990 million litres of milk, and local producers only currently produce 400 million litres.

The biggest buyers, such as Dukat or Meggle needn’t worry, they will continue to consistently offer the smallest price for a litre of milk (2 kunas or 0.26€), and sell at 6 kunas (0.79€) until local production is completely depleted. Finally, they earn more by importing milk from France or Germany, their country of origin.

The Croatian countryside is sitting on a time bomb. Farmers can barely make ends meet, abandoned and deceived by all, especially by their own State, their government and their policies. Today, no reasonable person would embark on agricultural production, aid is years behind, the farmers’ work and effort are not valued in function of the purchase price of what they produce, speculation continues and taxes and costs continue to rise.


MISERY FOR VILLAGES

A trivial example demonstrates the state of Croatian agriculture: in a very agricultural area west of Hrvatsko Zagorje, from Veliko Trgovišce to the village of Hum na Sutli on the Slovenian border, there is not a single cow in pasture. This sad cliché clearly demonstrates the suffering and misery of entire villages, farmers and agriculture in general.

The small number of farmers who remain in the country cannot wait any longer, they can no longer compromise and allow agencies and private companies to pursue their personal interests, they can no longer accept the political sham; on the contrary they should order an organized peasant revolt, a clear and strong combat with specific objectives.

There is no sense in waiting for a move from the “tragi-comic” minister, the weak ministry and incompetent government whose shadowy negotiations, far from the public eye, will see farmers manipulated for the umpteenth time, negotiations that have never fulfilled their promise. On the contrary demands must be clearly expressed, because there's no time to do otherwise.


1 http://balkans.courriers.info
2 Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA)


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Paris, 15 December 2018