Current situation and future trends of greenhouse vegetable production in Croatia
Croatia belongs to the Mediterranean countries that are considered to be very favourable for greenhouse vegetable production. With a convenient location, the large fluctuations in the price of seasonal crops are noticed, which indicates the existence of a market for the off-season production, and possibility to decrease an import of crops that can be produced in Croatia. To overcome the fact of growing imports of fresh and processed vegetables, The Operational Program for the Development of Vegetable Production was accepted, with the aim to increase the area under greenhouses, to achieve self-sufficient and continuous production of vegetables for the Croatian market and exports. Beside increasing of greenhouse area and applying new technologies (i.e., soilless culture), there is a need to increase and organize wholesales markets and storage capacities, and to introduce new standards of market quality. Croatian Chamber of Agriculture in 2011 estimated that the vegetables is produced on 72,433 ha or 5% of the total arable land with an annual production of about 450,000 t. Greenhouse vegetable production represents approximately 3% of total production. In 2013, Agricultural Advisory Service determined by field research there is about 432 ha of heated and unheated greenhouses for soil production and about 60 ha of soilless culture. The off-season production when prices are much higher is certainly one of the reasons that should motivate producers to consider starting production in greenhouses. However, it requires heated greenhouses with climate control and year-round hydroponic production, which mean additional costs for producers.
Benko, B., Borošić, J. and Simunović, V. 2016. Current situation and future trends of greenhouse vegetable production in Croatia. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1142:483-486
greenhouses, vegetable production, growing technology, market