While the demand for figs on the global and European market is growing and more than 80% of figs are produced in the Mediterranean, Croatia cannot keep up sufficient production of this fruit. This was stated by the Smarter consulting company, which specialises in the agriculture and food industry, on Wednesday. According to Smarter, of about 1.5 million tonnes of figs produced, more than 80% is produced in the Mediterranean.
Following olives, figs are the most common fruit from Istria to the Dubrovnik riviera. It is a little less frequent in the Dalmatian hinterland and Neretva valley. However, while there were about 855,000 fig trees in the mid-1980s, that number has been reduced to about 600,000.
In 1996 Croatia produced 6,240 tonnes of fresh figs and about 3,360 tonnes were consumed fresh with an additional 920 tonnes of dried figs. Data from 2019 indicates that production fell to just 1,264 tonnes of which just 813 tonnes was intensive production.
“Total domestic production satisfies just 0.3 kilograms per capita,” Smarter notes and adds that figs are usually produced by family farms without any greater processing opportunities. The production of figs is limited due to limited capacities for storage hence the market potential is exceptionally weak compared to other fruits, Smarter added.
“Today Croatia raises figs on about 500 hectares of land and according to some calculations that could be increased in a short period to 2,000 hectares, which should be our strategic aim,” Smarter recommends.