A tributary of West Morava, the Moravica River flooded and destroyed more than 1,000 hectares of raspberries in Ivanjica, Arilje and Požega.
“2,000 to 3,000 hectares of potatoes, corn, vegetable gardens and meadows used to feed livestock have been flooded,” said the president of the Association of Raspberry and Blackberry Producers in Serbia, Dobrivoje Radović.
It is estimated that the damage is total in the part where the torrent overflowed, which took away the fertile part of the land and uprooted the raspberry stalks and vegetables carrying mud and debris. In some places, the accumulated layer of mud was half a metre thick which means that the grass in these areas cannot be used as hay to feed the livestock.
Ivanjica, Arilje and part of Požega were hit by heavy rainfall on Monday, June 22. The Moravica River broke through the dam near Divljak and flooded the road from Ivanjica to Arilje, destroying crops and the water supply system of Ivanjica and surrounding areas, forcing the population to resort to using water from provided water tanks.
“This damage in the Moravica valley will be felt by the whole of Serbia, because the entire raspberry plantations were destroyed. The export of raspberries usually generated about 230 million euro annually in revenue,” Radović said.
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He added that it takes raspberries two years to reach full maturity so even if raspberry growers plant new raspberries today, they will only bear fruit in two years’ time.
Radović went on to say that the river water has not yet retracted from the houses and there is a danger of landslides.
This post is also available in: Italiano