ECO-SEMINAR HELD IN HVAR

Published in Highlights

An inaugural seminar on topics related to organic farming was held in the Loggia in Hvar Town on April 7th 2016.

The Dignitea Team with Manuela Antičević of LAG Škoji. The Dignitea Team with Manuela Antičević of LAG Škoji. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

As previously advertised, this was a joint initiative between three charities, Dignitea, LAG Škoji and Eco Hvar. Dignitea and LAG Škoji shared the financing of the evening. Dignitea took on all the practical arrangements, including the sound and projection systems, which were expertly managed, as ever, by Joško Rosso.

Nada Jeličić introducing the seminar. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

Nada Jeličić of Dignitea opened the proceedings. Sadly, two of the event's organizers were unable to attend: Dignitea's Katia Zaninović Dawnay, who did all the major groundwork of organizing the seminar, and Adela Duboković, who made an important contribution on behalf of LAG Škoji.

Lecturer Marija Ševar. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

Marija Ševar, Master of Science, is Senior Coordinator for organic agriculture at the Advisory Service, which is a national public body covering agriculture, rural development and fishing, as well as promoting the management of forests and woodland properties. She is particularly well qualified to speak on the technicalities of organic farming, including the ins and outs of registering farmlands and produce for organic certification. Her lecture was professionally presented, with helpful clear slides clarifying the sometimes quite complicated subject matter.

The lecture subject matter outlined. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

Information for organic farmers can be hard to find, not helped, for instance, by the fact that the Ministry of Agriculture no longer publishes a list of permitted fertilizers and soil enhancers on its website.

Vital eco-information no longer on the Ministry website. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

The Loggia was filled with a very responsive and engaged audience.

Part of the audience. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

At the end of Mrs. Šervar's lecture two audience members were invited to share their experiences of organic farming. Andrija Carić, of the Svirče Cooperative (Poljoprivredna zadruga Svirče), who produced Hvar's first organic white wine many years ago, spoke of the problems and potential high costs involved in organic farming. He highlighted that the south side of Hvar is ideal for organic cultivation, and that joining forces is the best way for organic farmers to safeguard their incomes. Željko Bucat then described how he has been farming organically for years, without the difficulties described by Mr. Carić. 

Željko Bucat. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

Mrs. Ševar's lecture was followed by a polished presentation of the work of LAG Škoji by Manuela Antičević from Vis. She described the bureaucratic hurdles the organization has had to overcome, just to reach the point where the organization can fulfil its primary functions. Soon LAG Škoji will be in a position to open the possibilities for grants, major or minor. Emphasis was placed on the need for well-prepared projects to be presented for consideration.

Manuela Antičević of LAG Škoji. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

The lecture was timely, as many of the audience members had little idea of LAG's progress over the years since it was first established on Hvar, and they were interested and grateful to know that practical possibilities for funding might soon be available.

Slide: LAG possibilities. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

True to Dalmatian custom, the evening ended with a splendid feast, provided courtesy of LAG Škoji. This was a perfect opportunity for audience and speakers to discuss and exchange views while enjoying welcome refreshment.

The feast. Photo: Vivian Grisogono
Nada Jeličić in conversation with Marija Ševar. Photo: Vivian Grisogono
(L - R) Nada Jeličić, Marija Ševar, Manuela Antičević, Vivian Grisogono. Photo: Frank John Dubković

The seminar was an original initiative for Hvar, and was duly highlighted in Dalmatia's most widely-read publication, Slobodna Dalmacija.

Press coverage. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

Building on this initiative, further seminars are planned, with a Round Table envisaged for the end of April. This will be based on practice, with established organic farmers providing the introduction, leading into an open discussion and exchange of views between all the participants in the seminar.

© Vivian Grisogono 2016

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