Busa – a cow for all seasons

Jul 16, 2015

PHOTO: AGENCY FOR THE REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA

Traditional varietis and breeds important for the sutainable development of Dalmatia

The indigenous breeds of Busa cattle are extremely adapted on karst landscapes, while its cultivation requires a minimum investment as Busha can be out there in summer and winter despite the food scarcity. While at the beginning of the last century there were about a million of them at local pastures, that number has declined and until recently amounted to only about 300 heads of Busa cattle.

Therefore, the UNDP through its Green Business Support Programme, within the COAST Project, worked actively worked to revitalize the Busa cattle. This has encouraged organic farming of indigenous breeds of Busa cattle in Dubrovnik-Neretva County (OPG MRSA), Zadar (OPG Nikica Žampera ), Šibenik-Knin (Dalmatia eco project ) and Split-Dalmatia County (OPG Andrew Ribičić) to further enrich the agrotourism offer of Dalmatia and conserve its biodiversity.

The importance of Busa cattle has also been recognized within the two-year project BBio - Sustainable development of border areas through conservation of indigenous breeds and the establishment of gene-centers in Buhovo and Biokovo. The closing ceremony of the project took place at 1,128 meters above sea level in the Info Center Ravna Vlaska on Biokovo, and the project goal was to evaluate the agro-biodiversity of the border regions through territorial cooperation between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The project is worth more than EUR 385,000.

Within the BBio project, the aforementioned Info Center Ravna Vlaška and an educational – multipurpose hall at the Centre for Autochthonous Breeds Preservation in Buhovo was established. The purpose of the centers is to maintain a base flock of breeds for further selection and reproduction, raise public awareness on the preservation of breeds through educational activities and to develop adventure and ecotourism.

Traditional varieties and breeds of Dalmatia described on 600 pages

The event ended with a promotion of the publication Traditional varieties and breeds of Dalmatia whose authors are renowned Croatian scientists in the field of agronomy and biological sciences: Roman Ozimec, Francis Strikić, Jasminka Karoglan Kontić, Edi Maletić and Zdravko Matotan. Editors are Snježana Mihinica and Roman Ozimec.

The book was designed as part of the COAST project, and on its 600 pages of rich layout, the traditional plant species, varieties and breeds of Dalmatia important for human life in this area since ancient times are shown. Grapes, olives and other fruit, vegetable crops and wild herbs… Lastovka and lumbardeška, babić and grk, žižula, maraska, sjekirica, buša, pramenka and Dalmatian dog are just some of the main characters of the book.

The book is intended for experts in the fields of agriculture, rural and sustainable development, farmers and all in love with Dalmatia.