Agriculture Minister Marija Vuckovic visited the Neretva Valley yesterday, and on that occasion, accompanied by County Perfect Nikola Dobroslavic and Deputy Jacqueline Marevic, met with the mayors of the Neretva area. There was also a joint meeting with representatives of the producers and purchasers of tangerines, and then the Minister opened this year's tangerine harvesting season.
During the meeting with representatives of municipalities and cities, current topics from the agriculture sector were discussed, with the emphasis on tangerine production, and the producers and purchasers outlined the problems and difficulties they were facing.
County Perfect Nikola Dobroslavic said that there are several important agricultural projects in Neretva, particularly highlighting the projects of irrigation, the Center of Competences for citrus fruits and the Business Incubator in Ploce. Tangerine production is the cornerstone of Neretva's agricultural production, Dobroslavic said, which is why it is important for everyone to unite around a common interest, which is to keep that production alive and develop further.
-We need a partnership, we need mutual trust and we need to encourage the production of tangerines under the protected designation of origin. Our tangerine is, I am convinced, the best European tangerine, of exceptional quality and as such it must come to market, as a brand to be recognizable in the foreign market, and it is important that we keep that in mind - said Dobroslavic.
County Perfect Dobroslavic thanked Minister Vuckovic for marking the beginning of this year's tangerine harvest, expressing his belief that the harvest would be very good, as the yield is around 40 thousand tons, and the quality is exceptional, adding that the County will help the placement of tangerines this year as well and last year, when the Neretva tangerine was sold in the squares of Croatian cities.
-The payment of 20 million kuna to 1,602 tangerine producers who have applied for this grant has been completed, and we will continue to implement similar programs. Our tangerine is special and as such has EU name protection. We need to take advantage of this, manufacturers need to come together and act as partners in the market as well as in third markets. Neretva's tangerine will not be appreciated by anyone unless we start to value it more and hold it to the values behind that name. Tangerine is a monoculture in this area and this is an ideal situation for setting up a production organization. I believe that small steps can make major changes - said Agriculture Minister Marija Vuckovic.