Parliament discusses amendments to Farmland Act

Zagreb - The parliament on Friday discussed amendments to the Farmland Act, which are expected to facilitate the use of state-owned farmland and enable its allocation, as well as a bill on the sustainable use of pesticides.

MP Miro Bulj (Bridge) warned during the debate that despite the fact that the amount of farmland subsidies was large, there were no results because subsidies were granted to "people who do not know how many teats a cow has".

Farmland production must be stimulated by the state because it is important for national security and demography, he said, warning that the Croatian agriculture in the EU was negligible.

Vesna Vučemilović (Croatian Sovereignists) said that the law had been changed some 20 times and that the most frequently changed element was the criterion for the allocation of farmland. She noted that farmland should be put to use to achieve self-sufficiency in agricultural production.

Ružica Vukovac (Homeland Movement) warned that Croatia imported huge amounts of food while large areas of farmland remained unused.

Dragana Jeckov (SDSS) warned about emigration and Croatia's demographic picture and the danger of farmland being given to big agricultural producers to the detriment of small ones.

Presenting the bill, Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković said that the bill would enable the allocation of farmland to users who would engage in agricultural production with added value, which would increase productivity and help in the development of rural areas and their modernisation.

The management of farmland should become more effective, and digitisation is expected to facilitate putting farmland to use, notably farmland that has been idle so far due to different reasons. The amendments will also introduce a more effective system of control of farmland use, the minister said among other things.

Author: Hina