Babina Greda is located in Vukovar-Srijem County in Croatia and has a population of 3 585.
The municipality of Babina Greda has an excellent geo-traffic position, it is connected to the system of European road routes, and there is a plan for the multi-purpose canal “Danube-Sava” to run through the municipality.
Babina Greda is rich in authentic Slavonian villages, customs and culture. The local community is very active, organising numerous events, exhibitions and associations to promote social, cultural, entertaining, artistic, sports and other activities that contribute to enriching the touristic offer and social life. In addition, agricultural holders, business owners and other actors contribute to the economic development of Babina Greda.
Areas that need support include: broadband connectivity; employers’ encouragement of teleworking; awareness of the potential benefits of a rural-urban partnership; attracting foreign investment and developing market value-added products.
The aim of the municipality is to add and strengthen community activities in order to raise the world of rural stakeholders on investment opportunities in agriculture and to make it attractive to young people. Digitisation of farms will serve as a good motivation for young people to return from cities and improve the rural area. With modern technologies and new concepts, the goal is to revive the village, reverse the trend of depopulation and protect people from rural poverty. This will create an environment that will give residents the same opportunities as urban, economic, social, educational and health residents.
Horse breeding in Babina Greda
Babina Greda has a long tradition of horse breeding. It annually holds the ‘White Horse’ manifestation, aiming to continue the horse breeding tradition and inspire love for horses. The manifestation is one of the longest-running events in Croatia and is a basis for the development of equestrian tourism.
The village purchased the first stallion of the Lipizzaner breed Favory Montenegro 599 back in 1936 and its offspring can be traced to this day.
Babina Greda promotes local dishes and lifestyle
Croatian singer and cooking show host Ivana Banfić visited Babina Greda with her I Bee cooking show team to see and experience the local traditions and way of life. The locals took the opportunity to promote the village by showing life in the countryside, cooking traditional dishes, and singing local songs.
Babina Greda inspires and trains local farmers in organic farming
The Babina Greda municipality, jointly with the University of Osijek and within the framework of the Smart Rural 21 project, has organised a series of lectures and field demonstrations for local farmers on topics such as organic farming and smart agriculture practices.
Specific subjects addressed included fertilisation, soil treatment, seed production, weed control, marketing, etc. The training, whose aim was to inspire local farmers to switch from conventional to organic farming, is linked to Babina Greda’s ‘fertility control’ project, led by the University of Agrobiotechnical Sciences Osijek.
Babina Greda rewards best performing students
The Babina Greda municipality rewarded the best performing eight grade students on the territory of the municipality with IT equipment worth 500 Kuna per student (approximately 67 euros). The best performing student, with the highest grade average for all eight years of study, was awarded a laptop.
Babina Greda highlighted as a good example of a ‘Smart Village’
Babina Greda was highlighted as a good practice example of the application the ‘Smart Village’ concept at a dedicated conference attended by leading Croatian experts on rural community empowerment, Croatian EU Commissioner Dubravka Šuica and MEP Tomislav Sokol. The mayor of the Babina Greda municipality, Josip Krnić, was also among the panellists.
The conference, held on 9 July at the Faculty of Agrobiotechnical Sciences in Osijek, overviewed opportunities offered by the EU concept of ‘Smart Villages’ as a determinant of strategic development for rural communities.
The event was organised by the Croatian Ministries of Agriculture and Regional Development, the National Rural Network, the Osijek-Baranja County Development Agency, MEP Tomislav Sokol, and the Slap Association.
Geothermal exploration project ready to kick off
The ‘Slavonia’ project for exploration and exploitation of the geothermal potential of the area surrounding (but not limited to) Babina Greda is now ready to kick off!
All the preparatory phases of the project have been completed in accordance with the national Law on Exploration and Exploitation of Hydrocarbons. These have included: acquiring the right to explore the area; obtaining a permit for geothermal water exploration; preparing design and technical documentation required before the drilling, and location permit.
The latter is the first location permit for the construction of a deep well issued in the Republic of Croatia in accordance with this law.
Babina Greda seeks to preserve and brand local products
Fancy something tasty? Enter the 'kulin' – a processed pork product, treated according to Croatian tradition which dates 250 years back. Even though it is unknown where the first Croatian 'kulin' originated, the first written trace of it was recorded in Babina Greda in 1790.
A forthcoming smart action for the village is to protect and preserve products such as the 'kulin', cheeses and other authentic local products in order to give them a new value, a new brand. Branding the finest local products will contribute to the development of the area, thus employing and opening new markets.
Geothermal potential exploration in Babina Greda
The Municipality of Babina Greda and Vukovar-Srijem County have included among their strategic priorities the exploration and exploitation of the geothermal potential of the area as this is expected to support sustainable housing and create new jobs.
In addition, this action will increase awareness of rational energy use with a view to reducing harmful gas emissions and improving environmental conservation.
This initiative is included in the ‘Slavonia’ project which will contribute to the development of five Slavonian counties and revive eastern Croatia.
Babina Greda celebrates Slavonic culture and tunes
On the second weekend of every June, Babina Greda is the place to be, as a three-day festival takes place to celebrate, preserve and spread the tastes and tunes of traditional Slavonic culture. The most special treat is bećarac, the most popular musical tune of the area, which is included in the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage.
The festival features multiple activities, among which a musical competition in which singing groups, tambourine ensembles and folklore societies take part.
The Association for the Promotion and Preservation of Šokac Heritage: ‘Šokadija’, Babina Greda is the organiser of the event.
A proud cultural tradition preserved and promoted in Babina Greda
Babina Greda’s seven reading rooms are a special feature of the village and unique to the whole of Croatia. Preserving a century-old tradition, the reading rooms were at the centre of cultural life in the first half of the 20th century.
Even nowadays, the locals use them for socialising and organising workshops, trainings, meetings, exhibitions and celebrations, and hope to be able to use them for touristic purposes as well. Small libraries are located right in front of the reading rooms, giving them their original purpose: to educate about the importance of books and reading.
An upcoming smart action for the village reading rooms is retro-innovation as they will be turned into intergenerational smart rural hubs.
Village strategy :
Smart Rural Journey
Follow along with our Village Roadmap here :
Implementation of smart approaches to agriculture including support and training for local farmers on organic production, modern practices of farm management and production technologies. The capacity building was based on lectures, workshops, field visits and showing good practices.
Step 1/3 : Preparatory work of the training for local farmers on smart approaches
Preparatory work for the training on smart agriculture and organic production, including consultation among the representatives of Babina Greda, the professors and experts from Osijek University, as a result the training agenda has been prepared. (Please find the presentations hyperlinked in the agenda).
Step 2/3 : Lectures to farmers on smart organic agriculture
Throughout the capacity building programme, four training events have been organised on organic and modern practices of farm management and production technologies.