The Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for Rural Development – IPARD II focuses on rural and agri-food areas of countries in the process of joining the EU.
The Largest Apple Plantation with the EU’s Support
In the heart of Župa Nikšićka, there is an apple plantation called “Naše voće” (Our Fruit). Rows of apple trees stretch as far as the eye can see. Massive apple planting is underway, while the slightly older apple orchard is blossoming. “These will bear fruits in a few months after pollination is completed,” explains Milan Golubović, the owner of the “Naše voće” company. The mild climate and fertile soil are suitable for growing red apple varieties, he reveals.
On the premises of the former agricultural cooperative “Župa,” there is now a modern facility for fruit storage and processing, along with a long-standing apple orchard. Modern orchards require significant investments, but high yields and fruit quality are guaranteed. At this unique estate, they cultivate five varieties of apples: Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Gala, Granny Smith, and a new variety on our market, Fuji.
“We experience daily temperature fluctuations of up to twenty degrees. In the summer, the temperature is around ten degrees in the morning and at night, while during the day it reaches around 30 degrees. This leads to increased colouration of the apple and higher sugar content in the fruit itself. It is something that these varieties owe to the micro-locality,” explains Milan.
Due to its shape, bibaum is a specific type of seedling. It has two axes on a single root. Along the central axis, through which sap flows, there is a large quantity of apples, allowing sap and all the nutrients to go directly into the fruits. This is precisely why it yields more first-class apples.
“When we finish establishing the orchard, we will have a total of 35 hectares with approximately 125,000 seedlings. We obtained the majority of it with the help of the European Union. We are major IPARD applicants. So far, we have participated in three IPARD calls through Measure 1 and three calls through Measure 3. Out of the 35-hectare estate, we have established around 27 or 28 hectares through the IPARD programme,” emphasises Golubović.
Through Measure 3, the Golubović family built a modern fruit storage facility, purchased equipment for apple sorting, as well as a line for juice and jam production. Milan says that the EU’s support through IPARD programme means a lot to them. He emphasises that, without it, the entire project would be in question, or at least the project’s dynamics would be uncertain. Their primary product is fresh apples, but they have recently started producing juices as well. “Naše voće” juices have reached the shelves of local stores. “Since the orchard is still young, the annual apple yield is around 400 tons. As the orchard matures, the yield will increase, and we will have to focus on exports,” concludes Milan. “Naše voće” is like an apple—healthy, sweet, and local. New seedlings, projects, and applications for the IPARD programme are planned.”