Croatian Agriculture Minister Visits Burned Properties in Dalmatia

Witnessing the affects of Croatia’s worst wildfire season since 2017, Marija Vučković promised compensation and support to affected olive growers and farmers.
Croatian Minister of Agriculture Marija Vučković
By Nedjeljko Jusup
Jul. 25, 2022 12:21 UTC

It is very dif­fi­cult to look at the large areas that have per­ished in the fire, and in which a lot of effort has been invested,” said Croatian Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković as she vis­ited burned areas in the hin­ter­land between the Dalmatian cities of Šibenik and Vodice.

Accompanied by local offi­cials, the min­is­ter first vis­ited the fam­ily farm of Ivan Cvitana, where 400 olive trees burned in a wild­fire.

Damage will be com­pen­sated,” she said. For exam­ple, some­one who has 300 olive trees burned will receive the same num­ber of new seedlings. From the rural devel­op­ment pro­gram, he can get funds for rais­ing new plan­ta­tions as well as com­pen­sa­tion for lost income.”

See Also:2022 Wildfire Season Expected to Be Europe’s Worst

The fire rav­aged more than 330 hectares, includ­ing 137 farms and 413 parcels reg­is­tered in Arkod – the land par­cel reg­is­tra­tion sys­tem in Croatia.

According to the first esti­mates, about 95 hectares of agri­cul­tural land were burned, pri­mar­ily olive groves, vine­yards and fig and almond plan­ta­tions. There were also reports of dam­age to sev­eral bee colonies.

The dam­ages are still being added up, and when they are final, the pro­ce­dure for declar­ing a nat­ural dis­as­ter begins, which usu­ally lasts about two months. A nat­ural dis­as­ter is declared by the local com­mu­nity, in this case the Šibenik-Knin County. Once that is done, every­thing will go on,” Vučković said.

Funds from the rural devel­op­ment pro­gram, which are allo­cated after nat­ural dis­as­ters, will be avail­able to farm­ers affected by the fire who apply for the ten­der.

Advisors to the min­istry vis­ited the affected agri­cul­tural hold­ings imme­di­ately after the fire and will con­tinue to be present in the field and at the farm­ers’ dis­posal through­out the process.

Although these pro­ce­dures have been sim­pli­fied in recent years, each farmer can get his own adviser to fill out the nec­es­sary doc­u­men­ta­tion, Vučković said.

She also con­firmed that the gov­ern­ment, in coop­er­a­tion with the Šibenik-Knin County, will con­sider the pos­si­bil­ity of addi­tional assis­tance to farm­ers in com­pen­sat­ing part of the lost income, in order to restore agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion as soon as pos­si­ble.

According to data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), 135 wild­fires have burned 30,889 hectares in Croatia since the start of the year.

Many of the fires are burn­ing in Istria and Dalmatia, the country’s two most promi­nent olive-grow­ing regions.

Between 2008 and 2021, wild­fires burned an aver­age of 13,600 hectares each year in Croatia. The peak wild­fire sea­son begins in late July and early August.


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