The Lower Neretvian area is one of the most developed agricultural regions of Croatia. Until the second half of the twentieth century, this was a scarcely populated area with poor inhabitants and undeveloped agriculture. Extensive land cultivation and low production of field crops dominated the economy of the region. The agrarian landscape was formed by a simple system of ditch digging, which helped the local people extend cultivation into the swamp area. In the period of socialist planning and economy before 1990, the government made many attempts at land improvement in this area. These primarily involved the expansion of agricultural areas, intensive land cultivation, and introduction of new field crops. However, agricultural production in the communist period, especially until the mid-1960s, was not market-oriented; therefore problems regarding the management of this big economic potential did not emerge until the transformation of the Croatian economy during the 1990s. These regional problems have much larger social and economic ramifications.