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Brussels, 20 December 2007

IPA Rural Development (IPARD) Programme for Croatia

Country profile:

  • Size : 87 609 km² of which 56 542 km² is a continental land area
  • Land use: 25% of total land is agricultural land and 48% is covered by forests
  • 4.5 million inhabitants; 47.6% live in rural areas and 52.4% live in urban areas
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors make up 5.75% of total GDP
  • The most important livestock sectors are cattle, milk production and pigs. However the majority of family cattle holdings have less than 10 animals and 96% of milk producers have less than 15 dairy cows. Cereal and oilseed dominate crop production in Croatian agriculture.
  • Productivity is low with little specialisation of agricultural holdings. Almost all Croatian farms are family farms, fragmented land, and parcel structure, with low investment capacity.
  • Environment: high richness of bio-diversity, though many species are in decline, high use of fertilisers and pesticides, lack of a consistent water quality monitoring system
  • Rural areas: there is a need for substantial investment in infrastructure and basic services, problems remain with low income and lack of alternative income sources, but there are rich natural and cultural opportunities for rural tourism.

Chosen strategy corresponding to the profile:

The IPARD is in line with the Multi Indicative Planning Document (MIPD) and other strategic documents on the integration process for Candidate countries. The main policy objectives are:

  • to contribute to the sustainable modernisation of the agricultural sector (including processing) through targeted investments while at the same time encouraging the improvement of EU acquis related food safety, veterinary, phytosanitary, environmental or other standards as specified in the Enlargement Package,
  • to contribute to the sustainable development of rural areas.

Budget overall and share of EU funding

Financial aid of € 102.298.250, of which € 76.900.000 is an EU contribution, has been allocated to the Croatian Rural Development Programme for the 3 year period of 2007-2009.

Public expenditure
Total public
(in million Euros)
EU contr. Rate %
EU contr.
(in million Euros)
Share %
Axis I – Improving market efficiency and implementation of Community standards
Axis II* - Preparatory actions for implementation of the agri-environmental measures and local development strategies

Axis III – Development of rural economy
Measure 9 : Technical assistance

* Axis II will be developed and presented to the Rural Development Committee at a later stage when the measures are to be accredited

Overall aim of IPARD programme in Croatia

The main strategic objectives are:

  • Improvement of the competitiveness and efficiency of primary agricultural, forestry and fishery production; and also of agri-food sector;
  • Improvement of quality and hygiene standards, as well as environmental and animal welfare standards;
  • Additional employment opportunities and income for farmers and all people living in rural areas leading to improved living standards and working conditions;
  • Achieving sustainable rural development through optimised and balanced economic development, environmental preservation and social cohesion.

Axis 1 Improving market efficiency and implementation of Community standards

Total public aid 2007-2009: € 68,348,000 (67%)

Main priorities:

The highest share of funds is chosen for the implementation of the axis 1 measures in order to contribute to the improvement of market efficiency and implementation of Community standards in the field of environmental protection, public health, animal and plant health, animal welfare and occupational safety.

Two measures are implemented:

  • Investment in agricultural holdings to restructure and to upgrade to Community standards (37% of the total public aid under Axis 1 ) – investments in construction and/or reconstruction, facilities of stables for dairy cows, pigs, cattle, poultry and eggs, facilities for greenhouses, harvesting, sorting and packaging of fruit and vegetables.
  • Investment in the processing and marketing of agriculture and fishery products to restructure those activities and to upgrade them to Community standards (63 % of the total public aid under Axis 1). Emphasis is placed on e.g. investments in milk and dairy plants, slaughterhouses, equipment for cooling and packaging of meat and on animal waste management. Sectors concerned: milk, meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables, grains and oil seeds.

Axis 2 Preparatory actions for the implementation of agri-environmental measures and Leader

Measures under the Axis 2 concerning preparatory actions for implementation of agri-environmental measures and the LEADER approach will be developed for implementation during the financial period 2010-2013.

Axis 3 Development of rural economy

Total public aid 2007-2009: € 30,424,000 (30%)

Assistance under this axis is aimed at improving the quality of life and encouraging economic diversification and entrepreneurship in the countryside through on-farm and/or off-farm activities, improvement of the competitiveness of rural areas and the increase in income of rural beneficiaries.

Two measures are implemented:

  • Improvement and development of rural infrastructure (53% of the total public aid under Axis 3) - with several projects in sectors like: local unclassified roads, fire prevention roads, sewerage system and wastewater and heating plants
  • Diversification and development of rural economic activities(47% of the total public aid under Axis 3) – with investment in following sectors: rural tourism, crafts, direct marketing, rural services, freshwater fishery, mushrooms and renewable energy

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