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Agricultural Sector

The main agricultural products in Slovenia are hops, wheat, coffee, maize, apples, pears, cattle, sheep and poultry.

Of the country's total 2 million hectares, more than half is covered by forests and nearly 40% is used for agriculture. An average agricultural holding uses 6,4 hectares of agricultural area. Of the agricultural area, more than 60% is permanent pasture and some 30% is arable, half of which is planted with cereals (mainly maize and wheat). Surpassing 0,5 million tons, cereals production increased slightly in recent years, while imports stayed at the level of 45% of total availability. 

Funding from the NextGenerationEU recovery fund

All together, Slovenia will be able to draw up to 5.2 billion EUR, of which up to 1.6 billion EUR in grants and 3.6 billion EUR in loans from the NextGenerationEU recovery fund. Slovenia is expected to allocate about 150 million EUR for agriculture, food and forestry, of which 75 million EUR is under the rural development programme of the 2023–2027 Common agricultural policy Strategic plan. The bulk from the rest of the money will go to the digitalisation of agriculture and forestry. The plan also includes a new state food institute, a center for seed production, arboriculture and forest protection, and a fund for risk management in agriculture. We have identified the following 8 projects in food and agricultural sector financed with the instrument from NextGenerationEU recovery fund:

1. Encouraging investment in strengthening the value chains in the supply of agricultural and food products

The objectives are to strengthen value chains in the field of supply of agricultural and food
products, improving the position of agricultural producers in value chains, strengthening the
competitiveness of the agricultural sector and ensuring economies of scale through the integration of producers, the joint preparation of goods for the market, more efficient planning and integration of supply and market presence.
Timeline for implementation: 2021 – Q2 2026.
Size of the investment is 10 million EUR in grants. The rest of the funds are provided by the
investors themselves by co-financing the investments. Investment is in tangible and intangible assets and includes in particular the following costs:
- costs of investments in the arrangement of facilities,
- costs of purchasing, installing or installing equipment,
- costs of purchasing delivery vehicles (for transport or delivery of agricultural products, foodstuffs, etc.),
- costs of purchasing information and communication equipment,
- project-related staff training costs,
- general costs related to the acquisition of project documentation.

2. Establishment of the National Food Institute

In Slovenia, there is no appropriate platform that would connect existing centers of knowledge such as the universities, institues and schools with industry, companies, farms, government institutions and consumers in the field of food. The investment will include the costs of arranging the facility in which the institute will operate, to adapt to new needs for laboratory analysis and research, and the cost of purchasing equipment (eg. laboratory-analytical), purchase of information and communication technologies, etc. Timeline for implementation: 2021-2026 The estimated investments are 5.3. million EUR and include the costs of external assistance of experts in the preparation of the founding study, legal, substantive, organizational and financial frameworks for the establishment and operation of the National Food Institute (300,000 EUR) and the costs of arranging the facility and purchasing the associated equipment, ICT and general costs (5 million EUR).

3. Center for Seed, Nursery and Forest Protection

The investment is intended to establish a new modern diagnostic and research infrastructure in support of the forestry sector to mitigate the effects of climate change on forests, preserve biodiversity and genetic diversity, and preserve plant health.
The main goal of the project is to build a new public infrastructure (such as laboratories, diagnostic center, gene and seed bank), which will enable better implementation of public service tasks in the field of plant protection, seed and nursery and forest protection and monitoring of forest tree genetic diversity. Timeline for implementation: 2021-2026
The project will be funded by a grant and is estimated 5.12 million EUR.

4. Establishment of a mutual fund for risk management in agriculture

The investment represents an upgrade of the basic insurance system for agricultural production in Slovenia, with the establishment of a risk fund to cover catastrophic damages. The positive effect of such fund is to ensure the constancy of income on the farm and to preserve jobs, while at the same time encouraging productive growth and job creation.
The target group are the members of the mutual fund: farmers and agricultural holdings who pay into the mutual fund and manage it. Timeline for implementation: 2021-2026
The project is financed from the recovery fund in the amount of 10 million EUR. The costs are related to the establishment of the fund (payment of expertise, start-up costs: costs of services, costs of information and promotion, material costs) and investments in more modern technology and digitalisation. The key contribution of the state is a possible investment in the founding capital or depending on the payments of farmers, a proportional annual contribution to the fund as will be determined by the adopted founding acts and rules of operation of the fund. The total value of the project is estimated at 18 million EUR, which also includes the contribution of the members of the fund.

5. Establishment of a supportive environment to promote the transition to a circular economy and bioeconomy in the field of agriculture and food in framework of the EU Strategy "from farm to fork”.

In the food supply chain, in the areas of production, processing, distribution and also consumption, there are insufficiently used opportunities for the transition to a circular economy, for example in the reduction of fertilizers, improved production results, reduction of production losses, reuse of biomass from agricultural production, more appropriate production planning (with the aim of preventing losses and waste), integration into short supply routes and local markets, etc. In the field of consumption, efforts will be focused on more sustainable consumption, valorisation of products produced according to the principles of circularity, extension of food durability, more sustainable product packaging, etc. Investment will include:
- Establishment of an expert group in the field of circular economy,
- Research on the current situation and challenges in the field of introducing the principles ofcircularity in agriculture and food,
- Public tender for the implementation of pilot projects for the introduction of circular economymodels in agriculture and in food manufacturing industry,
- Publication of guidelines for the introduction of circular economy models in agriculture and foodprocessing industry,
- Information and promotion of project results and knowledge transfer.
Timeline for implementation: 2021-2026
The investment in a project is 4.0 million EUR.


There are a number of different records, registers and databases, but they are not always
interconnected and therefore management of sectors is not effective. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food will use the proposed project together with constituent bodies and public services in the field of forestry and agriculture to digitise work processes with an emphasis on field data collection, obtaining new high-tech bases for decision-making, simplifying work processes, reducing administrative work, organized databases centralized by display on the central web GIS portal. Timeline for implementation: Q4 - 2021 to 2026. Public tender for the selection of a contractor for
the installation of a data warehouse, implementation and transfer of knowledge is expected in fourth quarter of 2021. Size of the investment is 28.5 million EUR in grants.

7. Agriculture Knowledge and Innovation System

The existing AKIS (Agriculture Knowledge and Innovation System) - a system for the transfer of knowledge and innovation from educational and professional scientific institutions to farmers, needs to be upgraded and strengthened, both in infrastructure and integration and cooperation between all AKIS stakeholders.
Financed will be the costs of construction and upgrade of infrastructure development centers in agriculture, including the costs of arranging facilities, costs of purchasing research and development equipment, special machinery and equipment for agricultural production, which enables development research and professional work and demonstration activities within the centers or AKIS system. Timeline for implementation: Approximately 5 investment projects will be co-financed. Public tender is expected to be carried out in 2022. The projects will be implemented until 2025. The project will be funded by a grant and is estimated 10 million EUR.

8. Geothermal energy for vegetable production

The establishment of a larger volume of vegetable production in greenhouses at a time when natural conditions in Slovenia do not allow outdoor production and must be supported by technologies that provide adequate heat sources and minimal impact on the environment and the carbon footprint. The use of geothermal reinjection wells in vegetable production would support green transformation in the agricultural sector in terms of greater use of RES and the introduction of circularity principles, increase the resilience of agricultural holdings to climate change and ensure higher productivity of the agricultural sector. Timeline for implementation: The timetable covers the period from 2021, implementation and completion of the project by Q4 2023. The project will be funded by a grant and is estimated 3.5 million EUR. Depending on the level of co-financing, 1 or a maximum of 2 reinjection wells can be supported with the given funds. The average price of one reinjection well (including primary and secondary or tertiary pipe) in the length of 1 km (the whole set of connected wells with pipelines - all on a turnkey basis) is between 3.5 and 4.0 million EUR according to market estimates, of which:
- about 1.3 - 1.6 million EUR cost of well in the length of 1 km;
- around 200,000 EUR - 300,000 EUR: surface system above the well;
- around 350,000 EUR - 400,000 EUR: electricity pipeline to connect the new well to the pumping station.


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