For Immediate Release
Skopje - Today, the USAID Small Business Expansion Project launched the Grow More Corn initiative, a first step towards modernizing corn production in Macedonia. The initiative aims to increase the supply of locally grown feed corn by introducing better seed varieties and farming practices that, together with drip irrigation systems, will increase up to four times the yield of corn per hectare. In the Polog region, USAID is partnering with the Veze Sharri food processing company, the Mosha Pijade Vocational Education and Training School, and most of the region’s municipalities to carry out this initiative.
“The American people are financing the installation of drip irrigation systems on 16 demonstration plots, including the ones we’ve seen today at Veze Sharri and Mosha Pijade, to demonstrate that small farms can become more profitable by investing in new technology and following good agricultural practices,” said Brian Aggeler, U.S. Embassy Chargé d’affaires. “In addition, we hope to create value in other related industries, like the dairy and poultry industries, which depend on corn for animal feed.”
The project will finance high yield corn seed varieties on an additional 28 corn fields in the Polog region. Other farmers will be able to visit any of these demonstration plots and learn how to increase their own corn yields by applying the same approach to their small businesses. In the next two years, the project will increase the number of farmers included in the Grow More Corn initiative. Using advanced farming practices will help micro and small farmers to transform small-scale corn farming in Polog from a secondary, money-losing job, to a primary, money-making business.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The USAID Small Business Expansion Project is a 4-year project implemented in Polog and Pelagonija whose overarching goal is to catalyze job creation and economic growth at the regional level. The project seeks to develop partnerships between private sector actors and public institutions at the regional and local levels in order to create initiatives that help micro, small, and medium-sized businesses grow. The Grow More Corn initiative is supported by Macedonia’s Ministry of Agriculture, the National Extension Agency and the Polog Regional Development Center.
The American people, through USAID, have invested over $500 million in Macedonia since 1993. USAID is working with the people of Macedonia to create jobs, strengthen democratic institutions and practices, enhance integrated education, and prepare students for the workforce. These initiatives improve the quality of life and support Macedonia’s transition to a stable and prosperous democracy. USAID provides economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 100 countries.
Last updated: November 27, 2013