Agro Startup conference for Croatian agriculture students

By EBRD  Press Office

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Agro Startup conference for Croatian agriculture students

Event aims to inspire next generation of farmers – goal also shared by the EBRD

Young farmers and students of agriculture and food production will gather Tuesday, 17 October 2017, for the second Agro Startup event at the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Zagreb. Participants will explore new opportunities and technologies in agriculture, discussing also global investment trends and access to finance for young farmers and agriculture specialists.

Registrations for the Agro Startup conference can be made on the event’s main webpage: Agro Startup. Participation is free of charge but the number of participants is limited.

The event will be opened by Croatia’s minister of agriculture, Tomislav Tolušić. It js organised by the Croatian consultancy Apriori World in partnership with the agriculture faculties of two national universities, the Croatian Young Farmers Association/ and the Ministry of Agriculture.

The EBRD, one of the largest sources of financing and policy dialogue in Croatian agriculture, is endorsing and providing technical support to the event as part of the Bank’s strategy to develop young talent and open up business opportunities in the sector. This second event follows the success of last year’s inaugural Agro Startup conference, which gathered over 180 students and industry insiders.

Apriori World’s director Danijel Koletić, who initiated the conference, says: “We hear about start-ups in many industries, from tech to finance, but rarely in agriculture. However, the sector – which is viewed as quite traditional – is changing, and its future depends on young, IT-friendly entrepreneurs. That is why we created Agro Startup, which is the only such initiative in Europe.”

Victoria Zinchuk, Head of EBRD Agribusiness Advisory team, explains: “Agriculture around the world is being transformed with the use of new technologies including robotics, drones, sensors and big data analytics. But many traditional farmers are either not aware of them or find them difficult to apply. Events such as Agro Start-up will help the new generation of entrepreneurs use IT and other new tools to turn farming into an exciting high-tech profession.“

The EBRD’s Agribusiness Advisory team also stresses the importance of high-tech for the sector and has connected “Agro Startup“ with the two Taiwanese start-ups Greenvines and Ilovemilk, which are founded by young entrepreneurs. The two companies will provide video presentations of their businesses.

Vedrana Jelušić Kašić, EBRD Regional Head for Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and the Slovak Republic, adds: “Agro Startup promotes the entrepreneurship in agriculture and among young people: these strategic goals are supported by the government and by the Bank. Our own country strategy for Croatia, approved in June 2017, also focuses on private sector competitiveness and economic inclusion. One of the Bank's latest initiatives in Croatia is a joint project with the Ministry of Agriculture, FAO and the Croatian Young Farmers Association to identify market opportunities and success factors in the fruit and vegetables sector where the EBRD sees a lot of potential.”

The EBRD is one of the largest investors in agriculture and food production in Croatia and has so far committed over €530 million in the sector. Across its region of operations, which now counts 37 economies on three continents, the EBRD has invested over €10 billion into primary agriculture and food production, with a special emphasis on modern, energy-efficient technologies and food security. The EBRD also actively facilitates policy dialogue between the government and private sector, and provides know-how exchange for businesses through its Agribusiness Advisory programme.
Danijel Koletić, CEO, Apriori World
+385 98 417 108

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