Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development

of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture
Svetošimunska cesta 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Pavilion 5, 1st Floor

Scientific-teaching employeesPhoneE-mail (+
Assoc. Prof. Nataša Bokan, PhD, Head of Department
Associate Professor
+385 1 239 4071nbokan
Prof. Ramona Franić, PhD
Full Professor
+385 1 239 3757ramonaf
Prof. Ivo Grgić, PhD
Full Professor
+385 1 239 3738igrgic
Assoc. Prof. Lari Hadelan, PhD
Associate Professor
+385 1 239 4037lhadelan
Assoc. Prof. Ornella Mikuš, PhD
Associate Professor
+385 1 239 3964omikus
Assist. Prof. Mateja Jež Rogelj, PhD
Assistant Professor
+385 1 239 3743mrogelj
Assist. Prof. Tihana Kovačićek, PhD
Assistant Professor
+385 1 239 4024tkovacicek
Assist. Prof. Magdalena Zrakić Sušac, PhD
Assistant Professor
+385 1 239 4060mzrakic

Teaching activities

Since the foundation of the Department of Economic Management (1924) and later the Department of Agricultural Economics (1963) its staff has taught agricultural economics in a series of macroeconomic courses. Both, the names of the courses and their content have changed throughout history and adapted to the current needs of students and the profession. Common to all historical periods is the emphasis on topics related to the socio-economic development of agriculture and rural areas, agricultural policy, agricultural cooperatives and rural sociology. More recently, teaching has been enriched by contemporary topics such as the Diversification of the Rural Economy, European Union Funds, Agricultural Extension Services, Rural Tourism Industry, Social Context of Rural Development, Environmental Policy and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources. Teaching methods are also being modernized, not only reducing the proportion of traditional "ex cathedra" presentations, but introducing teaching through the use of case studies, discussions, team and project work with greater student participation.

Lecturers of the Department teach mainly in the basic study period - undergraduate study of Agricultural Economics and graduate study of Agribusiness and Rural Development, but also in fifteen other study programs of the Faculty of Agriculture. They also participate in courses at the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb and at the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb.

Scientific and professional activity 

The scientific and professional activities of the Department are carried out in the field of biotechnological sciences, field of agriculture branch of economics. Due to the interdisciplinary character of agricultural economics and the academic education of individual staff members outside the Faculty of Agriculture, the activities of the Department also relate to the field of social sciences. In their work the scientists of the Department deal with current macro-agroeconomic issues of agricultural development and agribusiness in general, problems of sustainable development of rural areas, the structure of agriculture and agricultural producers, the evaluation of the impact of agricultural and rural policy in the function of integrated rural development, research infrastructure and institutional support in agriculture, the role of natural resources in the modern bio-economy, the competitiveness of Croatian agriculture within the EU, problems of cooperatives and business relations in agriculture, socio-demographic characteristics of agriculture, family farms and rural areas.

Recently, numerous studies have been carried out to assess the impact of Croatia's accession to European Union - the state and structural processes of Croatian agriculture. The researchers are also focusing on the allocation of funds from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. Within the Department, professional studies and analyzes are carried out at national and local level, which serve as a basis for agricultural policy decisions, laws and strategies. Extensive research and background information is available on indicators for government intervention and their role in the development/backwardness of domestic agriculture. In line with the reduction of the share of agriculture in the economy, the research interest includes the valorization of non-agricultural diversification activities in rural areas with a focus on rural tourism. In addition to the economic dimensions of the post-transition agricultural problem, sociological aspects are also investigated, in particular the question of education and representation of young farmers in the structure of agricultural producers. The research also covers problems of environmental policy and protection, natural resources and the adaptation of farmers to climate change.

Agricultural economists and sociologists of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development are members of the working groups of the Ministry of Agriculture, Innovation Council for Food and Bioeconomy, and governing body of Rural Development Network. Employees of the Department were involved in the formulation of the Rural Development Program of the Republic of Croatia for the period 2014-2020 and are also present in the role of experts and advisors in the development of the current Strategy of Agriculture and Rural Development.


The Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development is one of the successors of the Department for Economic Management, which was founded on July 3, 1924. The establishment of the Department is explained by the need to educate experts and develop scientific research on the economic and social functions of farms. The founder and first head of the Department was Prof. Otton pl. Frangeš, PhD, one of the most important European agricultural economists of the first half of the 20th century. Since 1946, there have been several forms of organization within which scientific, educational and professional work in agricultural economics has taken place. With the reorganization in 1963, three agricultural economics departments were created, one of which was the Department of Agricultural Economics.

In 2011. the name of the Institute will be changed to the current name - the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.

Since the reorganization and independence of the Depertment in 1963, the heads of the department were Prof. Artur Starc, PhD (1963-1971), Prof. Branko Štancl, PhD (1971 - 1987), Prof. Tito Žimbrek, PhD (1987-2001), Prof. Miroslav Tratnik, PhD (2001-2003), Prof. Tito Žimbrek, PhD (2003-2009), Prof. Ramona Franić, PhD (2009-2015), Prof. Đurđica Žutinić, PhD (2015-2018) and prof. Lari Hadelan, PhD (2018 -).

In the last period the teachers of the Department were also: prof. Artur Starc, Phd, prof. Branko Štancl, PhD, prof. Mirko Martić, PhD, Srećko Brkić, MSc, Mate Bobanac, PhD, prof. Tito Žimbrek, PhD, prof. Miroslav Tratnik, PhD.

Chronological overview

  • in 1860, the College of Economics and Forestry was founded in Križevci with the first institutional forms of activity of agricultural economists in Croatia
  • on July 3rd 1924, the Department of Economic Management was established as the eighth department at the Faculty of Economics and Forestry. The founder and first head was Prof. Dr. Otton pl. Frangeš
  • in 1945, professional work in the field of agricultural economics took place at the Institute for Agricultural Economics within the framework of National Agricultural Institute
  • 1960 the Institute became part of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Zagreb under a new name - Institute of Economics and Organization of Agriculture, and was responsible for scientific and professional work in the field of agricultural economics
  • In 1963, a reorganization took place and three separate agro-economic departments were established, one of which was the Department of Agricultural Economics
  • January 1st 1976, with the organizational changes of the time, agricultural economists from three agricultural economics department of Faculty faculties and members of the then Institute of Agricultural Economics from Kačićeva Street 9 in Zagreb, together became part of the newly founded (OUR) Institute of Economics and Organization of Agriculture
  • from ac. year 1978/79 onwards Agricultural Economics was one of the five studies that could be enrolled at the Faculty of Agriculture and as an independent study program, lasted until the academic year. 1996/97, when it became part of the Plant Breeding course
  • in 1993 there was a new organizational change, dividing the Institute into three departments, one of which is the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Sociology
  • on March 14th,1996, the Croatian Society of Agricultural Economists was founded with its seat at the Faculty, - from ac. yr. 2005/2006, the teaching at the Faculty was carried out according to the regulations of Bologna Declaration and the study of Agricultural Economics became one of the undergraduate studies
  • in 2008/2009 started the courses of the postgraduate doctoral study of Agricultural Economics
  • in 2011 the name of the department was changed to its current name - the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development

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