UNDP and the Zadar County launch a farmers' market

May 15, 2013

Participants at the ceremony / photo by Zadar County archive

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Zadar County today signed an agreement on the establishing of farmers' market in the Zadar County. The goal is to promote food products made by local farmers. The HRK 210.500,00 worth agreement was signed by County Prefect Stipe Zrilić and, and UNDP Resident Representative in Croatia Louisa Vinton. During the last four years of the partnership between the Zadar County and UNDP, 155 trainees - farmers on the territory of this county - received certificates within six vocational trainings.
The area of the Zadar County has a long tradition of fruit and vegetable production, which has intensified in the last twenty years, while customers' habits have become more similar to those of European customers. Therefore, establishing the farmers' market, which would offer fresh products, especially fruit and vegetable, is recognized as a much needed investment.
The project includes choosing a location, providing equipment, creating a visual identity of the market, a media campaign and training of farmers for the work at the market. On one hand, the project will bring new impetus for local family farms' businesses and on the other hand, it will give a possibility to people to get fresh-grown and healthy food. All the farmers from the Zadar County area can participate in the project, but they will be allowed to sell licensed products only. This type of market should help in gaining more customers' trust in local products and its nutritional, health and gastronomic values.
"The creation of a Farmers' Market is the natural next step in our partnership with Zadar County to promote the development of rural areas," said Vinton. "Having helped to provide vocational training for farmers in a range of agricultural professions, we are now working with the County to create a space for them to sell their produce directly to local consumers, thus expanding the market for the fruit, vegetables and other farm products for which the Zadar region is justly famous."
"The goal of the farmers' market project is to bring together small and medium farm producers who are willing to make an additional effort and personally participate in selling their own products and in transferring knowledge about traditional knowledge and customs of food production to their customers. This way, customers will have a direct access to high quality and seasonal farm products grown in our area and it will also strengthen the relationship between producers and customers. By getting to know a producer, a customer will surely have a different approach to products and appreciate all the health benefits which that kind of products bring. Let us hope that for those reasons our farmer's market will become a place frequented not only by our citizens but also by tourists interested in learning more about indigenous Croatian products."said Zrilić.
Within the program organized by the Zadar County and the UNDP in Croatia, 31 students of beekeepers' training were today awarded certificates at the Zadar County Great Hall. The vocational training was implemented by the Apis education center for adults from Velika Gorica, and it consisted of 120 hours of theory and practice. Theory classes were held in the „Knez Branimir"secondary school, and the practice work was completed at the Željko Guzić family farm in Perušić Donji near Benkovac. The total coast of the training was HRK 75,000.00 while beekeepers paid additionally HRK 700.00 each for their training.
The students of this comprehensive education program gained knowledge on different subjects in the field of beekeeping, including biology of bees, selection and breeding of bee queens, formation and moving apiaries, technology of work with bees and selection of bee products, bee health, basics of economy and marketing in beekeeping, EU beekeeping standards and the possibilities of financing projects related to beekeeping within the Fund for Rural Development of the EU. Upon completion of the course students took tests and received certificates of successful completion, which makes them eligible to the title beekeeper in their employment books.