The Croatian Chamber of Agriculture on Saturday called on consumers, buyers, and retailers to buy vegetables from local Croatian farms, as a way of helping farmers affected by the coronavirus crisis.
Domestic farmers are desperate as they have no one to sell their product to and the yield risks staying in the fields instead of in stores and farmers' markets, said the chamber's Vjekoslav Budnec.
"At the moment, vegetable farmers are not harvesting their crops because it's cheaper for them than to harvest, pack, and ship their products at below production cost. For example, last year cucumbers were being purchased by wholesalers for five to six kunas, while this year they get only one kuna," said Budnec.
And due to the fear of a vegetable shortage in the wake of the corona crisis, vegetable farming increased in the spring, with the goal of raising self-sufficiency.
Unfortunately, tourism and tourist consumption as one of the essential sales channels have been absent, while the import and placement of cheap vegetables and market surpluses from the EU and regional markets through retail chains have continued, they say.
The president of the Agriculture Chamber, Mladen Jakopović, called on consumers to buy domestic vegetables as a way to protect domestic production as well as on retail chains to put more domestic vegetables on their shelves.
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