One week Croatian study visit to Austria on design, implementation and administration of Rural Development measures


A team of Rural Development experts from the Croatian Managing Authority and the Paying Agency visited Austria for one week to get acquainted with the Austrian Rural Development Administration in practice. The study tour started with a visit of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and AMA, both responsible for the Management of Rural Development measures on federal level. But as the administrative approach in the Austrian Rural Development implementation (Axis 1, 3 and LEADER) is strictly decentralised, the approval and administrative control of projects is up to the Regional Governments, the Chambers of Agriculture and others. Therefore, the Regional Government and the Chamber of Agriculture of Lower Austria in St. Pölten were visited and the Croatian team had the chance to discuss the way of implementation and practical issues directly with the responsible experts. The journey continued to Styria to study different projects which were implemented during the last years. It was incredible to see how many investments had been made in south eastern and eastern Styria not only in the strengthening of the competitiveness of farms, but also in the diversification like farm tourism, the development of new brands and direct sale. The Croatian team really appreciated the many efforts and the success of the Austrian Rural Development administration and could take home many ideas from this one week study visit.

Investement of an asparagus washing
and sorting machine on farm. Family
Reicher, the Croation experts and AMA

The croation experts visiting Vulcano
ham manufactory, a new brand of
dried ham with direct marketing

In the background the information
office of "Naturpark Südsteirisches
Weinland" established under LEADER