"The pollution control project is a project to protect underground water from nitrates, which are highest in percentage and most dangerous in poultry manure,” says Vlado Kurecic, Mayor of Petrijanec – the municipality that helped Ceglec and the other farmers.
“We thought it was smart to develop these manure plots, and, in the en,d the World Bank returned 75 percent of the cost to the farmers,” says Kurecic.
The pollution control project aims at promoting better and safer agricultural practices in Croatia.
The World Bank-supported project, financed by the Global Environmental Facility, is helping the country meet European Union standards, in part by implementing controls on the nitrates and other minerals involved in farming, which can be harmful when they enter the country’s water system.
Under the project, agricultural specialists are out sampling the water deep beneath the soil of some 1,400 hectares of Croatia’s fields and orchards.
The water samples are taken back to university laboratories where they are analyzed by PHD students, like Lana Matijevic, with the help of advanced analytical equipment provided by the agriculture project.
“If we didn’t have the equipment, then we would have to do all the analysis manually. And, as you know, manual determination is much slower and much less precise,” says Matijevic.
The lab results are made available to those farmers who are interested. They receive recommendations on how much and what type of manure and other fertilizers are safer to use, which are more in line with EU standards.