Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković has called on fruit and vegetable producers in the Neretva river valley - southern Croatia - to form an association in order to increase their competitiveness and presence on the market. At the start of the week, Vučković met with fruit and vegetable purchasers in the Neretva valley, to discuss wholesale purchases of mandarin oranges this year. The main topic discussed was compliance with the law prohibiting unfair trading practices in the food supply chain.
Vučković noted that the mandarin is very important for the Croatian fruit-growing industry and that its entire production takes place in a relatively small part of the Neretva valley. She said that in the last two years the government had set aside HRK 26 million for mandarin growers alone.
Her ministry said that 45,245 tons of mandarins had been produced in 2010-2020 in the area covering 1,984 hectares, with an average annual yield of 23 t/ha. Last year alone, 24.5 million kilograms of mandarin, worth €11.6 million, was exported, while 5.4 million kilograms, worth €4.3 million, was imported.