According to the “Development Startegy of Trebinje 2009-2017”, agricultural production plays an important role in the overall development of this area. The existing natural resources such as climate, soil and water represent base for engagement in agriculture. Diversity of the primary agricultural production is manifested through fruit growing, viticulture, medicinal herbs production, beekeeping, animal husbandry and crop farming. The production of grain is included in less degree.
According to the data from 2007, the total land area of the City of Trebinje is 90,400 hа, whereof agricultural land makes 52%, i.e. 47,237 hа. The total cultivable area is 8,837 ha, whereof 7, 231 is privately owned, while pastures, as a dominant form of agricultural land use, mainly belong to the State sector and its area is 26,000 ha. The total arable area of 6,895 ha makes 14.6% of total agricultural area and represent dominant way of cultivable area use. Most of arable areas are in the private ownership, and only small part of 945 ha belongs to the State sector.
The greatest problem in the area of Trebinje is low use of high quality arable area which is under fallow land or is not cultivated. According to the data from 2008, out of total 6,093 ha arable land, even 82% of these areas or 4, 985 ha are not cultivated. The analyses showed that arable areas sown with crops range from 983 to 1,100 ha, which is really low and poor considering fertile soil of Petrovo and Popovo polje (Petrovo and Popovo field) in the area of Trebinje.
The crop farming in Trebinje is carried out in the area of 1,100 ha. The leading position in the sowing structure takes vegetable, then follows fodder crops and cereals, while only minor part of agricultural land is sown with industrial crops. This sowing structure can be assessed as quite favourable from the viewpoint of crop farming improvement, noting that is significantly different from the one applied in the rest of the Republic of Srpska, where emphasis is placed on grain. On this basis it can be concluded that vegetable production can be considerably improved, especially if one considers that all agricultural areas are supplied with water. It is important to mention that greenhouse production can also be developed in this area, which is one of the most significant and best ways of vegetable growing.
It is worth mentioning that speaking of industrial crops only tobacco is cultivated but in very small areas.
Fodder crops are grown on 380 ha of arable areas, which, together with 1,530 ha of natural meadows and 38,400 ha of pastures, represent significant amount of raw material for the production of fodder.
There is a large number of species of medicinal and aromatic plants in the area of Trebinje region. This branch of agriculture has been developing a lot lately and it can be an important source of income for rural households. The current environmental and social assessments indicate that by its production and harvesting is being met only small part of the needs of home and foreign market, so there is a huge potential for production of this type of agricultural production. Some of the local producers have seen the opportunity in this type of production, what is proved by opening the processing plant and increase of the areas sown with these crops.
Fruit production is very important agricultural branch in the area of Trebinje. According to the official statistics from 2007, orchards were planted on 195 hа of land, whereof 125 ha belonged to the State sector, and remaining 70 ha to the private. Small part of land was planted with cherries, walnuts, apricots and peaches, as well as figs and citrus. Their total annual production, according to the statistics from 2009, was 561.5 tons.
Fruit production is characterized by an old garden growing method, which gives low yields. Market surpluses are low, but lately number of fruit trees is increasing thanks to the new ways of growing and new and modern assortiments.
It is worth mentioning that fruit plantations are grown recently, what is encouraging for the development of this type of agricultural production which still can be improved in these areas.
Viticulture and wine production
Viticulture and wine production experience great expansion in the area of Trebinje. This branch of agriculture is also the best developed in this area. Namely, winegrowers and winemakers from Trebinje have recognized the potential in this branch of agriculture and formed the association of 15 producers who are seriously engaged in this type of production. Thus, Trebinje region has been recognized as the region with superior quality wines, as a result of which Trebinje was included in the Wine roads of Herzegovina, and wines from this area are widely known in Europe and across the world.
According to the official statistics, 1.15 million of grapevines was planted in 2009 in the area of Trebinje. The achieved production was 1.954 tons of grapes. In comparison to 2004, the number of vine grapes is three times, while production almost five times higher. According to the official statistics from 2007, the total annual production of wine was 1.2 million litres. Žilavka, Herzegovinian Vranac, Chardonnay and Blatina are dominant sorts of grapevines.
It should be mentioned that these data from 2007 do not correspond to the current data (2014 y.), because , according to some estimates , the number of vines has increased , and therefore the production of grapes and wine. Also, this is one of the branches of agriculture in Trebinje which in recent years has been expanding , and there is a large space for its expansion, because according to estimates , there is a shortage of raw materials which are imported.
Plantations of medicinal herbs in the area of Trebinje region is another agricultural branch which in recent years flourished. Favourable climate, a great number of sunny days and suitable soil are ideal conditions for the cultivation of various species of medicinal herbs, the most represented are immortelle and lavender. According to the data , the amount of medicinal herbs produced in this area is not sufficient enough to meet the demand, which open up the opportunities to invest in this very profitable form of agricultural production. Annual needs of distilleries are about 5.000 tons of raw materials, while the current production capacities fail to satisfy only minor part of this production.
Livestock breeding in the area of Trebinje is a form of agricultural production that is very poorly developed and reduced to the production of products for home use, while a small portion of these products is intended for the market. When we talk about the total livestock breeding ,the annual production is 3,3 million litres of milk, 6 tones of wool , 2,75 million of eggs and 55 tones of honey.
Only beekeeping is the form of livestock breeding that is developing and progressing. Favourable climate, diversity of flora , the presence of large and uncontaminated territory ( bees are very sensitive to atmospheric pollution) make this region an international heritage for the production of bee products. Trebinje region has all potentials for production of large quantities of honey, with the possibility of certified organic honey production, aromatic honey, high-quality wax and other products such as pollen and royal jelly. There exists great potential for honey production due to the existence of large areas of meadows and pastures, as well as a large number of endemic and medicinal herbs,which give this product specificity.
However, according to some estimates, in this area are collected only 10 % of the offered nectar of nature , and the quantity of honey vary from year to year , which partly depends on the weather conditions . According to estimates, the annual honey production is about 650 tones .
Fishing is another branch of agriculture that has been developing in recent years in the area of Trebinje and for which there is a great potential. That is supported by the vicinity of Trebinje lake, as well as theTrebišnjica river. According to some data, annual fish production is about 350 tones, which indicates that this branch can be expanded a lot.
The general conclusion is that food industry in Trebinje is underdeveloped. According to the Chamber of Commerce of Trebinje data, over 220 business entities operate in this city.. Out of that number, slightly more than 30 of them is engaged in agriculture and food industry. More of them is engaged only in production, and not processing of agricultural products.Processing of field and vegetable crops is almost negligible , while processing of meat and milk is reduced to a single entity for meat processing and one for ice cream production.
However, the food industry sector that records significant development, is the sector for the production and processing of grapes. Therefore, we can say for sure that viticulture and enology are the most important branch of this industry. There are 25 wine cellars in Trebinje , and eight of them are registered as companies. They are interconnected in Association. Wine processors are very differnt by installed capacities, production orientation and achievements. Some of the wine cellars in Trebinje have already positioned in the global wine market , and made a recognizable brand.This branch of agricultural production has already been recognized and included in all strategic development documents of the City of Trebinje.
The production of honey and other bee products is another branch of food industry in Trebinje which records the constant growth and development. This form of agricultural production has a significant place in the development documents, when it comes to the selection of strategic production for the further development of the City.
Production ,which in broad terms can be categorized as food-procesing , is the production of essential oils, which records growth in the recent years and represents a very profitable activity for those dealing with it, as evidenced by the fact that in Trebinje exist distilleries of essential oils , which export their products to the countries of EU and the USA .