Working with these indigenous species,
It continued throughout the summer, with 18 non-governmental organisations asking the authorities to prevent the “greed of multinational corporations that threaten to endanger resources that represent the foundation of Croatian food industry.”
One particular cause for concern was the new EU regulation on seeds and propagation material that required, in the name of consumer and food safety, the registration of all fruits, vegetables and trees before they could be reproduced or distributed.
The regulation was finally changed under pressure from European NGOs, including the 18 in
“Seeds represent the richness of today and tomorrow,” says
The economic crisis of the past year has indeed hit the region hard, with the unemployment rate in
Serbian farmers and home gardeners, meanwhile, have taken recourse to the oldest yet safest method: of saving seeds at the end of one season and planting them in the next.
“I keep seeds from year to year and use them in the garden,”
In his stall, one can find the popular “oxheart” tomatoes, “cake” or flat onions, small pearl beans and very dry “cerovaca” melons, popular among elders as the fruit of their youth.
“As for domestic [indigenous] species,” says Savovic, “there is no doubt that they are the best adapted to our climate, soil and means of protection. So why change them if they are good?”
The agriculture faculty’s Glamoclija, however, strikes a note of caution here. “One should not confuse the growing of traditional or old, autonomous species with the modern trends of healthy food growing,” he tells IPS.
“Well-adapted home-grown species need good care and adequate protection. Non-treated fruits can contain toxic bacteria instead of pesticides. So the so-called ‘return to nature’ can be like riding a bike in the downtown of a city amidst gases exhaled by heavy vehicles,” he adds.
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