ifoam'96 ifoam'96
Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
EcoWeb Denmark

Organic World

Croatian Liburnia: Ecotourism and Organic Agriculture O3

Tadic, Ranko,

Republic of Croatia, County Primorsko-Goranska, Department of Economy & Entrepreneurship, st.Adamićeva 10, HR-51000 Rijeka

Organic agriculture is still relatively undeveloped in Croatia. For a long time activities in this field were performed solely by a few enthusiastic individuals, small informal groups and NGOs without any formal support from the government. Therefore, co-ordinated movement for the development of organic agriculture does not exist. However, some progress can be reported in 1990s, expecially following the »International workshop on the introduction of organic agriculture in selected Danube countries« organised by the Avalon Foundation in Gronjan, Croatia in September 1995. During the workshop the first short-term plan of action towards development of organic agriculture in Croatia was drawn up and accepted. Direct and indirect outcomes of the Gronjan workshop are establishment of the: 1) several new regional NGOs; 2) national platform of NGOs working together on »Introductory projects for strenghtening development of organic agriculture movement in Croatia«; 3) Eco-Food Branch within the Chamber of Commerce. Furthermore, platform of NGOs made encouraging initial contacts with representatives of the relevant ministries, while regional NGOs did the same with representatives of their local governments.
An example of the new positive approach towards development of ecotourism and organic agriculture in Croatia is County Primorsko-Goranska, north-western part of the ancient province of Liburnia - unique but diverse region which naturally, culturally and historically represents connective tissue of the Croatian State. County is consisted of three diverse agro-ecological subregions: highlands (1,273 sq.km), coast (1,265 sq.km) and islands (1,044 sq.km) plus 4,491 sq.km of the coastal sea. Total agricultural land amounts to 143,364 hectares, out of which 48,345 hectares are cultivable (arable land, orchards, vineyards, meadows), while 94,297 hectares are under permanent pastures. Although a potential for development of agriculture and fisheries existed in the region, during the communists rule these traditional economic activities were completely neglected on the account of the heavy industries and mass-tourism development which created a lot of damage to the Countys ecosystem and environment. For example, out of 13,952 hectares of arable land today is under cultivation just 5,178 hectares or 37%.
After its establishment in 1992 County Primorsko-Goranska decided to shift towards the sustainable development. Taking into account its natural, cultural and historical heritage since Liburnian times, development of ecotourism, tightly connected with the development of organic agriculture, came across as one of the most appropriate economic activities. Modern Liburnia can produce a whole range of organic products (olive oil, wines, temperate and mediterranean fruits, vegetables, herbs & spices, mushrooms, honey, dairy products, meat & preserves, game-meat, sea & freshwater fish, etc) and sell them through its ecotourism. For that reason County s Department of Economy & Entrepreneurship commenced in 1994 with the »Programme of revitalization and development of food production« with emphasis on introduction of the organic agriculture. The principal aim of the Programme is to offer guidance for the long-term regional sustainable development. In 1995 County accepted organic agriculture as: 1) one of the strategic activities in its Development Programme by the year 2015 ; and 2) one of the regular agro-technical measures for agricultural land protection. Several practical projects in the field of ecotourism and organic agriculture are currently implemented by the local farmers and private entrepreneurs, most of them members of the regional NGO Eko-Liburnia, Association for development of ecotourism, organic agriculture & environment protection. Projects are supported, co-ordinated and co-financed by the Department of Economy & Entrepreneurship and Eko-Liburnia.

Bašic, F. (1995) : Organic Agriculture - Production of Healthy Food in County Primorsko-Goranska (Chapter 5.5). Study : Ecological & Economic Valuation of Soils of the County Primorsko-Goranska for the Need of Development of Agriculture, p. 361-377. Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Zagreb, Zagreb.

Tadic, R. (1996) : Agriculture and Fisheries (Chapter 3.1). Study : Basis for the Long-Term Development of the County Primorsko-Goranska by the Year 2015. Faculty of Economy of the University of Rijeka, Rijeka.

Verschuur, G. ; Ooms, B. ; van Elzakker, B. (1996) : Action Plan of Croatia. Proceedings of the International Workshop on »Introduction of Organic Agriculture in Selected Danube Countries and the Three Baltic States«, p. 91-97. Avalon Foundation, Wommels.