SlovenianCroatianhr-HREnglish (UK)

THE VEGETATION OF ISTRIA: Preservation of natural heritage - the revitalization of fruit species characteristic for the area of Istria

The location of Istria and the climatic factors enable successful cultivation of vines, olives, figs and fruit species such as almond, jujube, pomegranate, common strawberry or hackberry, which could potentially increase the production diversity and enrich the tourist offer. Once upon a time, these fruit species were quite widespread; recently you can find them only rarely. The mentioned fruit species do not have a morphological and botanical description; there is no information on the nutritional value of these plants nor the biodiversity of the species that grow in the area of Istria.

The main goals of the project are:

  • to analyse where in nature (the border region of Istria) the jujube and pomegranate trees/bushes grow, to describe the characteristics of these trees (morphology) and to characterise them at the level of genetic material (DNA),
  • to analyse the content of biologically important molecules (e. g. nutritional value, vitamins, antioxidants) in jujube fruits, pomegranates, almonds, hackberries and ordinary strawberries, grown in Istria,
  • to set up a pomegranate plantation in the area of ​​the Croatian Istria and a jujube plantation in the area of the ​​Slovenian Istria. In the future, the plantations will present the foundation for the study of these plants and will contribute a great deal to the quantity of fruits produced in the Istria area,
  • the promotion of the products (jam, vinegar, brandy, juice) made from old fruit species at trade fairs and tourist events and the distribution of jujube and pomegranate saplings to interested individuals.
  • education on agronomic practices, nutritional and implementation value of old fruit species in the context of seminars, workshops and lectures.
  • the integration of culture and conservation of natural heritage in the context of the artists' colony, and the extempora on the topic of old fruit species.

The project THE VEGETATION OF ISTRIA is co-financed from European funds for regional development and links partners from Slovenia (Biotechnical Faculty - University in Ljubljana, Scientific research centre of the University of Primorska, the Association for Sustainable Development of Istria) and Croatia (Inštitut za poljeprivredu i turizam Poreč, Općina Vižinada-Visinada, Udruga za promicanje i zaščitu kulturnih programa  „TRIADA“ Sveti Lovreč).

The experimental plantations of jujube and pomegranate present a permanent legacy of the project. They will provide space for promotional and educational events and the exchange of views and experiences in the cultivation of old fruit species. Promotional activities and educations will result in greater visibility for both potential producers as well as consumers. It is well known that visitors and tourists pay more and more attention to high quality foods with known geographical origin. It therefore presents the research and the cultivation of listed species, the potential market niche, an enrichment of the tourist offer as well as a potential income source for the local population on both sides of the border.