The Slovenia Times

Not worth a grain of wheat



Although there were no natural calamities for farmers to complain about, not everything has gone as smoothly as hoped for. This year's relatively good run of fortune came unstuck when representatives of the farmers and the wheat-processing industry could not reach agreement on a fair price for the wheat. However, as the wheat-processing industry is in a far stronger position they were able to dictate terms and eventually a price of 31 tolars per kilo of type A wheat and 27 tolars per kilo of type B wheat was set. Most farmers were far from happy with the price, particularly as Croatian farmers were able to negotiate a far better deal of 1 kuna or nearly 34 tolars per kilo. Considering the overall economic situation of our neighbouring country, the price is more than just generous. But Slovenia's wheat-processing industry decided it can not afford to pay more, not even to domestic farmers, as it can buy similar quality wheat abroad, mainly from Hungary, at lower prices. After all, it is a market economy operating according to the principles of supply and demand. To protect domestic producers by offering them above-market returns is obviously not in the best interest of the state. But not all of the wheat sowed is only meant for consumption. In Naklo, near Kranj, they are trying to revive the customs of the traditional harvest. One of the farmers recently found grains of an old and much healthier species of wheat, which according to an old document was grown hundreds of years ago in Slovenia. Each year the local tourist association organizes a huge festival to celebrate the harvest and the traditional methods of harvesting are displayed by farmers wearing period costumes in an environment made to look as authentic as possible. The final product, baked in truly old oven, is bread just like granny used to make. The locals say that its taste is unforgettable.


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