Best Practices, Olive and oil supply chain in Montenegro (1st part)

In Montenegro, the olive sector occupies a significant place, not so much in the importance of the total value of production, in relation to other branches of agriculture, but in its specificity and the importance of tradition. Olive growing as a branch predominates in the coastal area of Montenegro (about 500,000 olive trees planted on approximately 3,400 ha of total area, average age over 200 years, of which about 15% are newer plantations), the vast majority under old, extensive plantations, usually less accessible terrains, and on fragmented plots (average planting size is 0.3 ha). Recently, there has been an increase in plantation new plantations in all areas of the Littoral – Ulcinj, Bar, Budva, Tivat, Kotor and Herceg Novi, and Podgorica and Danilovgrad: an increase from 88.9 ha in 2014 to 143 ha of native plantations in 2019, while it is estimated that there are currently over 200 ha of planted plantations, while another 50 ha of new plantations are planned (estimated by participants in the process).

The total amount of olive fruit produced in 2019 is 574.1 tons, of which 307.5 tons are plantation crops. It is estimated that of the total number of neglected and overgrown olive groves, about 2/3 of the total number of trees have been revitalized to some extent (estimate of participants in the process). The average yield is very modest and ranges between 2 and 3 t/ha, which reflects the high age of native olive groves on the one hand, and the incomplete yield of new plantations.

The assortment is dominated by autochthonous varieties with pronounced alternative yields (over 65% of the assortment falls on the local variety Žutica, which together with other local varieties accounts for over 90% of the assortment), and due to age and configuration structure of plantations (mostly centuries-old, extensive, terraced plantations), and the still incomplete yield of new plantations, the total amount of olive oil produced ranges between 250 and 400 tons in the period between 2013 and 2019. New olive groves are mostly raised by planting an imported assortment, and oilseed varieties predominate, with some modest plantations of consumer varieties. As many as 616 olive growers are registered in the Register of Agricultural Holdings, and the average size of olive groves is 0.42 ha, of which 409 are producers with less than 0.5 ha, while only 9 olive growers with over 3 ha are registered. The largest registered olive grove is 4.87 ha in size (there are also several significantly larger commercial plantations). Only 194 olive growers are registered in the register of plant producers, in the category of olive growing and mixed production.

Extracted and reworked from the document: “Report on BPs on quality schemes and consumer Health in Montenegro”. The report is one of the deliverables under the activity ” Exchange and knowledge transferring of Best practices on quality schemes and consumer health ” WPT1 ”Improving the coss-border framework conditions for the valorization of the agri-food and fisheries value-chain” .

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