The national park „Djerdap„ is located in north-east part of the Republic of Serbia, along the border with Romania. Djerdap gorge cuts the slopes of South-Carpathian Mountains – Miroč, Liskovac and Šomrda, while the park, as a whole, belongs to Carpathian area. It stretches on 636 km2 of municipalities Golubac, Majdanpek and Kladovo territories, ranging over 2-8 km of hilly-mountainous belt along the Danube, altitude 50-800 m, as well as the very surface of the Danube, around 55 km2. The protecting zone ranges over around 934 km2 in hinterland of the park, on the territory of the municipalities: Golubac, Majdanpek, Kladovo, Kučevo and Negotin (Figure 1).
Figure1. Area of the NP „Djerdap“and its protecting zone
The national park „Djerdap“ has extraordinary natural and cultural-historical values, which nominate it for the list of the world’s cultural and natural legacy (UNESCO) and UNESCO MAB biosphere conservation area.
The park area and its protecting zone is relatively spatially isolated and sparsely populated (26,8 inhabitants/km2). Major parts of agricultural areas are within the protecting zone of the national park (about 25,5 thousand hectares), where special conservation regulations are not obligatory, except general requirement not to jeopardize the park’s fundamental functions. There is around 13 thousand hectares of agricultural land within bounds of the park, out of which around 1,9 thousand hectares are in the regime of II protection level and around 10,9 thousand ha in the regime of III protection level. On the territory in II protection level regime has been allowed primary agricultural production, including livestock breeding, while in zone of III protection level has been possible to build also food processing capacities and run small-scale businesses that fulfill environmental protection regulations (Official Gazette of RS, 16/2009: 121, 126; 34/1989: 1256).
Small-scale semi-subsistence farms prevail on the area. The most of farm inhabitants are quite old and poor educated. The arable lands stretch on 20 thousand hectares and mainly have weak productive potentials for crop growing, but they are favourable for orchards and grassland i.e. for grazing cattle, sheep and goats, production of medicinal herbs and bee keeping. The area encompasses also parts of Kljuc and Negotin viticulture region, with great relief, micro-climate and pedologic conditions and centuries-old tradition in wine production.
Heterogeneous natural conditions offer significant reserves for development of the production in systems of traditional, integral and organic agriculture. Rural hinterland disposes with ecologically safe locations for small and medium enterprises development and processing healthy, high quality food, especially milk and meat products. The tourist potential of the park provides a market for wide assortment of traditional local products, including wine of protected geographic indication and offers possibility to agricultural producers for diversification (rural tourism, handicrafts, trade…).
The research, carried out in 2009, for the needs of making the Spatial Plan of Special Purpose Area of National Park „Djerdap“, have shown that, in this area, depending on heterogeneous natural, resource, technical-technological and socio-economic conditions, could successfully develop next modalities of sustainable, multifunctional agriculture, targeting the (Nikolić, Popović, 2010):
1) Biodiversity maintenance – in protected hilly-mountain area of II and III protection level regime within the national park. Farmers in this area have been primarily directed toward the conservation of grassland eco-systems and use of natural conditions for grazing of cattle, sheep and goats (the territory of cadastral municipalities of: Tekija, Petrovo Selo, Golubinje, Miroč, Dobra and Brnjica), along with organic fruit production (Boljetin, Topolnica, Mosna, Miroč), rare kinds of wheat production (millet, buckwheat, etc), bee keeping and game breeding.
Agro-environment compensations to farmers for damages/damages prevention on crops and livestock, and lost income owing to the production extensification, i.e. changing the purpose of arable land in plots for feeding and habitats are of special interest for the protection of endangered species, endemic species and big carnivorous in the park area. Growing of game fodder, extensive maintenance of meadows and pastures and old orchards, besides the species and eco-system biodiversity protection, can have important associated functions of land preservation and population density of the area.
High quality organic food (meat and milk products, fruit, honey, fish and game…) should be protected with indications of origin and then directed to local catering trade, tourist businesses and ethno-events, strengthening rural and eco-tourism development on farms (Miroč, Tekija, Novi Sip) and in rural settlements of high ambient values (Golubinje, Petrovo Selo).
2) Integral vine and crop-livestock production development – in Ključ lowland (CM of: Davidovac, Kladovo, Kladušnica, Manastirica, Podvrška, Velika Kamenica) and hilly fringes of Negotin lowland (CM of Urovica and Vratna), on east, and in the CM of Golubac, in west part of the area.
The best quality vineyards are located in Ključ viticulture region, but the largest plantations stretch the hills of Negotin lowland. For centuries-old tradition in production of high quality wine represents one of the key tourist products in master plan of Donje Podunavlje tourist destination. It says that „rural – wine pastoral of Negotinska Krajina, with unique wine-houses („pimnice“) and wine resorts, offers a vacation and enjoyment in pastoral ambient, activities and recreation and rural tourism“ (Government of the RS, 2007:17). Successful adjustment of grape and wine production to the requirements of market competitiveness enhancement has been conditioned by assortment modernization and the production and processing improvements. The promotion of the integral grape and wine production system can significantly contribute to these achievements.
On the arable lands of Ključ it is possible to organize integral or organic production of crops and vegetables. Large areas of meadows and pastures of north fringes of Negotin municipality offer great conditions for cattle and sheep breeding and the production of traditional meat and milk product of high nutritional value. The hilly territory of Urovica are favourable for development of fruit production, too, especially autochthonous sorts of apple and soft fruits (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries), which production happens to find increased interest of the farmers. Good potentials also have growing of medicinal herbs and bee keeping, while large territories under forest are rich with indigenous medicinal herbs, mushrooms and other wild fruits.
3) Traditional fruit and livestock production development – in central, hilly-mountain part of the park’s protecting zone, in which dominate the orchards (CM of: Voluja, Rudna Glava, Radenka, Dvorište) and meadows and pastures (CM of: Radenka, Voluja, Rudna Glava, Krivača), except CM of Majdanpek, sparsely populated and mostly covered by forest, with problems concerning land degradation by mining works, which requires remediation.
The modern fruit production sets complex requirements in natural resources use. On one side, the optimal conditions for realization of high and stable productivity results have to be provided by appropriate agro-technical and pomo-technical practices, but, on the other side, these practices must not be harmful for the environment. This can be achieved by strictly implementation of integrated plant nutrition and pest management. The attention must be given to reintroduction of old, autochthonous sorts, especially favourable for growing orchards on low productive land.
The livestock production should direct toward cattle, sheep and goats pasturing. The farmers should be motivated to expand herds by budgetary support, and especially to fulfill the food quality and safety standards, by purchase of modern equipment for manure storage, fodder storage, as well as storing and cooling milk.
The preferential projects for efficient use of the whole area potentials for production of healthy-safe and high quality food are: mini-abattoirs for lambs; mini-dairies for processing sheep and goat milk; fruit processing plants; mini-drying rooms and packing machines for fruit, honey, medicinal herbs and wild fruits; livestock breeders, fruit growers and wine growers associations development, as carriers of the traditional products origin mark; and development of catering and tourist activities on farms.
Autori: Marija Nikolić, Vesna Popović