“‘Learning by making mistakes’ is more like it, to be honest,” laughs first-generation farmer Vasa Curcic. Listening to Curcic recount the early days, one realises that the situation in Serbia back then was difficult, to say the least. The country was a shambles after the conflict and the economy was in the doldrums. There were no jobs and even fewer prospects.
This didn’t deter Curcic Vasa, even though he, too, was unemployed at the time. Instead of hoping for a job opportunity to eventually present itself, he decided to create one for himself on his own. With the little savings he had, he bought a pot of land and started growing produce. “It was small potatoes in the beginning, if you will forgive the pun,” he reminisces. “And I had to learn everything the hard way.” Eventually, however, the harvest was enough to keep make a living. And more: It also proved to be much more fulfilling. “Now that I know what it feels like to care for the land, watch my crops grow, and have satisfied customers look forward to our produce… I can’t imagine ever doing anything else.”
Together with his wife and two children, Curcic farms over 80 hectares of land with modern machinery and facilities that help maximise yield and keep produce fresh on the way to market. “And that is in large part thanks to ProCredit Bank. It’s not just that loan products are adapted to my situation as a farmer,” he says. “My advisor there also helps me keep our farm on a sustainable growth track.”