As more than half of food products in Croatia come from imports, and the crisis caused by the coronavirus is just heating up, the Oikon Institute for Applied Ecology decided to use their knowledge and capacity to help start Croatian agriculture. Namely, the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic forced a large number of countries to take measures to limit the export of their agricultural products. “With the desire to help, we decided to harness our knowledge and capacities and do what we can and what we know. We gathered several of our excellent experts with extensive experience in the field of agronomy, ecology, forestry and geoinformatics and together launched an initiative called “Let’s plow Croatian fields!”, Because Croatia has great potential, we just need to know and be able to use them., said Oikon director Dalibor Hatić. “If we estimate that one square meter of arable land per capita is needed per day, ie that one hectare can feed 27 people throughout the year, according to our preliminary calculations, this area of over 400.000 ha could potentially feed almost 11 million people a year!” This figure is of course significantly lower because we must take into account that part of the land in this map without investment is not suitable for conventional intensive agricultural production, but this data is a very good indicator that Croatia has the ability and potential to feed not only its citizens but produce food and raw materials for export ”, explains doc. dr. sc. Hrvoje Kutnjak from the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb. Croatia, as they point out from Oikon, imports more than 50% necessary food products, so this is becoming a burning issue in light of expected problems in the coming economic crisis such as disruptions in distribution chains, inability to collect and process agricultural products due to social distance, problems expected in product storage, etc. “All the land that can be used for agricultural purposes is unused, and it is overgrown or not used. There is also mined land in these preliminary mapped areas, but for safety reasons we will remove all suspicious minefields from the new detailed and precise map we are already working on in a hurry and we expect that it will be completed in ten days ”., announced Dr. sc. Vladimir Kušan, Member of the Management Board of Oikon. Oikon makes its maps and all its further analyzes available to everyone in the Republic of Croatia who can benefit from them. The results of their analysis upon written request and free of charge will be submitted in the format of an active spatial database to local governments, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Agency for Payments in Agriculture and other actors that are key in creating and implementing agricultural policies. Oikon made a preliminary spatial analysis of the potential of agricultural land in the Republic of Croatia and identified over 400.000 ha of unused agricultural land, which could be cultivated or used for food production in a relatively short time. Source and photo: OikonPhoto: Pixabay All questions and suggestions related to the initiative “Let’s plow the Croatian fields!” you can deliver to the e-mail address email@example.com.