Martina Petrovic from Vukojevci near the eastern town of Nasice has won a competition for Croatia's best young farmer with her project for the breeding of the black Slavonian pig, an indigenous Croatian pig breed, Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) member of the European Parliament Dubravka Suica, who is the ambassador of young Croatian farmers, said on Friday.
Suica, whose office in early December invited applications for the best young farmer, said the winner had been chosen among 41 candidates by a five-member jury of experts. There were more than 200 inquiries about the competition, but its strict conditions resulted in only 41 applications.
Together with 18 young farmers from other EU countries, Petrovic will compete for the title of best farmer to be chosen by a European Parliament jury on January 19. The winner will be given a 10,000 euro reward at the second European congress of young farmers in Brussels on January 29.
Along with Petrovic, the jury chose nine other young farmers who will travel to the second congress of young European farmers, to be attended by more than 350 young farmers from the EU.
Underlining the importance of agriculture, Suica said 40% of the EU budget was allocated for agriculture and that more than three billion euros from agricultural development funds was envisaged for Croatia in the next six years.
Suica advocated introducing grants for the transfer of family farms to young people.
A member of the Croatian jury, Mario Njavro of the Zagreb Faculty of Agronomy, said the criteria for the selection of the best young farmer were production size, experience, innovation, export orientation and project sustainability.
The jury also assessed to what extent the proposed project was related to the local traditions and environment and how much it was environmentally justified.
One of the criteria was also the personal qualities of the young farmer, their education, business experience and involvement in community activities.
Thanking the jury for the award, Petrovic said her project was aimed at preserving the genetic potential of the black Slavonian pig which is bred less and less.