Bjelovar (Croatia) to turn from cheese city into tomato city

In the Croatian town Veliki Korenovo a new geothermal well will be built, from which, among other things, the future business zone there will be heated. Since the announcement, phones in the Bjelovar City Administration have not stopped ringing. "There is no shortage of potential investors", claims Bjelovar Mayor Dario Hrebak. He reveals to have met with potential investors, a Syrian company for the production of cucumbers and peppers. As the Syrians are still inquiring, there's another crop that could sprout in the region: peppers and tomatoes. The agro-technological company Crop Hrvatska is seriously interested in buying land since they have been looking for an ideal land for building greenhouses for tomato production since last year. "Given the latest circumstances related to the geothermal well, it seems that Korenovo meets all their needs", the mayor said.

The team with Crop Hrvatska reveals to have analyzed several locations in Croatia and narrowed the circle to three, including Bjelovar. "Given the news related to the geothermal well, Bjelovar has the advantage, it has gone a step further. Namely, there are three main criteria for choosing a location - good transport connections, enough land and energy that is not expensive", says Jerko Trogrlić, co-owner of Crop, which needs 12 hectares of land to develop the production.

On six, they plan to build greenhouses in which they will produce tomatoes all year round, and on the other six solar panels for electricity production. Given that the business zone in Veliki Korenovo covers 80 hectares, it is evident that the criterion related to the country has been met, while the remaining two - only not. Better transport connections to Korenovo should be provided by the fast road from Zagreb, which has entered the final phase, and cheap energy should arrive from the well by the end of next year.

"We can wait that long. Namely, it takes between 16 and 17 months from the moment we decide on the location to the start of production, and as far as I know, it takes approximately that much to start using a geothermal well for energy", says Trogrlić, a public relations expert. . He started the company two years ago with IT expert Jan de Jong, and they decided to enter the tomato business with the Dutch company DutchGreenhouses and its agricultural investment fund with extensive experience in the field.

The mentioned investment includes production according to the most modern principles, with the help of modern technology, but also the employment of between 60 and 70 people - from top engineers to workers who will work in the greenhouses themselves.

The Crop Hrvatska company was invited to Bjelovar by Bjelovar Mayor Dario Hrebak. Potential investors liked his and other employees of the Bjelovar City Administration. "We see that potential investors are very serious and I would be glad if they really come to Bjelovar. Since we announced that we are starting to build a new well, several companies have informed us, which is proof that the well itself is just the beginning of a much bigger story. Thanks to this project, we will attract new investments in Bjelovar", believes Dario Hrebak.


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