The Slovenia Times

Rural Parliament discuses challenges of Slovenian agriculture


Some 80% of Slovenian land is rural, and agriculture affects everyone in one way or another, the minister said.

Agriculture is important because of the supply of local, quality and safe food, as well as in efforts to keep these areas populated. Farming is also important to preserve biodiversity and natural resources, she added.

Pivec is convinced that events such as the Rural Parliament, hosted by the Agriculture Ministry in cooperation with partners promoting the development of the Slovenian countryside, can raise awareness of the importance of agriculture for the country.

"Farming in Slovenia is very specific, because farms are small, and making ends meet is difficult. This is why significant changes are needed, especially structural changes to enable farmers to survive while at the same time address the effects of climate change and make farms as resilient as possible to such events," Pivec said.

She also pointed to demographic changes, noting that an average Slovenian farmer was 57 years old, which was not encouraging.

The young have to be motivated to take on this profession. This is the only way to a technological breakthrough of the sector, as the young are more inclined to new technologies, innovation and digitalisation, Pivec said.

Parliamentary Speaker, Dejan Židan, who is a former agriculture minister, focussed on the environmental and climate challenges in his address.

He stressed the importance of self-sufficiency, not only in food supply but also in other areas such as the energy sector.

He said agricultural production definitely needed changes but preserving it was imperative. "Imports is not the answer," he pointed out.

The first day of the Rural Parliament, which is being attended by some 200 participants, was marked by workshops on climate change, natural resources management, biodiversity, opportunities for young farmers and their social inclusion, development of rural communities, food quality and the transfer of know-how, innovation and digitalisation in agriculture.

The western region of Brda, one of the most well-known wine growing districts in Slovenia, was declared the most successful rural community in 2019, while biodynamic farm of the Turinek family from Jarenina in the north-east became the most innovative new farm.


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