Emin Tatarevic left America with his Family and grew largest Aronia Plantation in BiH

September 3, 2017 11:00 AM

Five years ago, Emin Tatarevic and his family exchanged safe jobs and luxurious life in Salt Lake City for hills in Bosnian Krajina, where they, on bought land without insured infrastructure, started to grow Aronia (chokeberry). Today, they won the largest plantation in BiH as well as Agricultural Cooperation Tatarevich & Sons, where they have a total of 21 000 seedlings on 9 hectares in the settlement Mala Gata near Bihac.

Emin Tatarevic left his hometown Cazin in 1986 and moved to Lichtenstein. In this small, but advanced country, he became a driver of cargo vehicles and visited whole Europe in the years that followed. He arrived in BiH at the beginning of the war where he was engaged in patriotic forces, but he returned to Lichtenstein after several months. During 1993, his wife and children came after him, and due to fact that Lichtenstein did not accept refugees anymore, they decided to go to America in 1994.

“At one point, our company was employing around 100 people, and we lived very well, but unfortunately my wife got sick and decided to go back to BiH in 2012. We came back in the middle of 2012 and as soon as we came here, I wanted to do something. Our sons, Mirza and Mesa, and our families arrived soon as well. Unfortunately, the illness of my wife progressed and she died two years ago,” stated Tatarevic.

He says that, two years before he returned to Bosnia, he noticed in one street in Bihac that almost every house has some business or company.

“It wasn’t clear to me if there is really that much work or to whom is it sold. But, when I came next year, I noticed that a large number of those companies are closed and that new ones are opened in their places. I had to do something when I returned, and catering, crafts and generally some small jobs were not attracting me. I believed for everything I’ve worked in life that it has to have permanent progress and has to always go forward,” said Tatarevic.

He said that it seemed only realistic to try to work in the field of agriculture or tourism since his wife was against the opening of any kind of bar, cafe, and restaurant. That is how he decided on growing fruits, more precisely for one new and less known culture at that time – Aronia.

“We have nine hectares of sown Aronia and 21 000 seedlings or bushes of Aronia at the moment. We produced almost 50 tons of Aronialast year, and this year we planned to go over tonnes but I do not believe that we would have that much due to extreme drought. We recently measured 42.7 °C on our field. On the other hand, we had problems due to late frost in May, and we even burned fires near plantation. All  of it took its toll,” noted Tatarevic.

Family Tatarevic is making jam of Aronia, including the one made of clear aronia and in combination with black currant and blueberry. Their products are aronia juice, tea, vinegar, brandy, and liqueur.

Despite all the problems, he stated that his family will continue with their fight and they will keep trying to find their place on the market. He hopes that country will start to do its job as it should, and that aronia and its products will be recognized and valued on the market.

(Source: M. C./Klix.ba)

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