The 19th Bjelovar Agricultural Fair opened on Friday, bringing together nearly 500 exhibitors from Croatia and abroad, about a hundred more than last year.
Agriculture Minister Davor Romic announced in his opening remarks that the payment of agriculture grants would start next week. "By April 14, nearly a billion kuna will have been reimbursed from the EU Guarantee Fund, which will be followed by grants for milk producers," he said.
Romic said that one of the crucial projects of his ministry was to put neglected agricultural land to use. "There are more than 650,000 hectares of neglected agricultural land in Croatia. If we were to put it in use, we could increase the intensity of agricultural production and ensure commodities for the food industry," the minister said, adding that land consolidation would start already this year.
As part of the fair, the fourth regional conference of private forest owners from Southeast Europe was held, at which participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia spoke about the use of privately-owned forests.
The fair closes on April 3. It takes place in Gudovac, outside Bjelovar, 80 kilometres northeast of Zagreb.