Production of lettuce and herbs using biomass from wood
Investing in cutting edge production techniques (hydroponics in pots) allowed a farmer to fill a gap in the market increasing the availability of vegetables in winter, with minimal environmental impact.
The production of vegetables in Slovenia covers the demand of the country only during the production season, i.e. between May and October. Off-season, vegetable production is insufficient to cover the market. European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) beneficiary, Mario Kurtović, saw this as an opportunity to meet demand.
He decided to invest in the hydroponic cultivation of lettuce and herbs in pots (the technique of growing plants without soil). Investment support under Rural Development Programme measure M04 enabled him to acquire a biomass-burning heater, construct new nurseries for the ground cultivation of vegetables and also assemble a hydroponic line to cultivate lettuce and herbs.
- Slovenian consumers can now buy Slovenian lettuce, herbs, and spinach in shops throughout the year;
- self-sufficiency in lettuce production in Slovenia increased from 6.7 % to 19.7 % (STAT);
- the project resulted in reduced production costs due to the optimisation of wood biomass heating;
- sales increased from € 1.2 million (2016) to € 2.4 million (2018); and
- twelve new jobs were created.