Successful visit to blueberry plantation – on-site learning and sharing

The Jagodina Public Library makes efforts to open the library doors to all residents in the local community. The library modeled itself on libraries worldwide and developed a range of services apart from the traditional ones for non-formal education of residents. By addressing the needs of rural residents in the Jagodina municipality villages, since 2010 the Jagodina library actively participates in information literacy of farmers through the network of rural libraries. The aim is to improve and modernize agricultural production and launch new agricultural businesses.

The most visited lecture in the previous season was a lecture on blueberries. As a relatively new crop in Serbia, blueberry is insufficiently known about, although it deserves attention for its healing properties. The lifespan of a plant is up to 50 years. Although, growing this plant can make a good profit, it requires a serious investment in its production. Serbia is, thanks to good agro-meteorological conditions, a great place to grow blueberries.

We decided to leave the library premises and show to interested farmers an experimental field with blueberries. That is an opportunity to exchange experiences and remove all doubts about the cultivation and marketing this fruit.

On Sunday, 22 September, a lecture on growing blueberries was hosted at the farm of Dusan Zivkovic, who started growing blueberries in May 2012. He is a farmer from the village of Lovci. He planted 250 blueberry seedlings on a plot of 15 acres. He planted them for his own needs. After the lecture on blueberries in Bagrdan, he found out that it was possible to sell the entire crop through agricultural cooperative Prima borovnica from Belanovica and learned about the advantages of starting this business. He met lecturers, who were already engaged in this type of business and helped him improve his production. Realizing the benefits of it, he decided to expand his production to another 60 acres of land. He already prepared the field for planting which will occur during autumn.

The transport to Lovci was organized. Farmers expressed interest in such education. There were 41 of them. Besides the host Dusan Zivkovic, the speakers were Gvozden Dzelatovic and Nenad Petrovic, also blubbery growers who in cooperation with Prima borovnica, participated in all lectures for farmers in rural libraries in the Jagodina municipality, within the project Agricultural libraries in Jagodina.
In Serbia there is a network of 311 rural libraries and only five of them, which are in the Jagodina municipality, are at a service of residents in local communities. The project of Agricultural libraries can be a model how to educate and introduce information literacy to people in rural areas in Serbia. The topic of the IFLA Conference, the biggest library conference in the world, was Future libraries, infinite possibilities. The project of development of rural libraries by the Jagodina library was presented at this conference as an example of the “Library of the future”.

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