FACT SHEET: Fostering Agricultural Markets Activity (FARMA) in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Project Snapshot
Total Funding:  $19 million*
Start Date:  September 2009
End Date:  February 2015
Implementing Partner:  Chemonics International
   *USAID - $9.5 million; Sida - $9.5 million  
 
The Challenge
To meet the European Union’s (EU) accession criteria for economic readiness and compete in a global business environment, Bosnia and Herzegovina's (BiH) agricultural sector must increase the volume, variety, and quality of its output while lowering the cost to consumers. To achieve this, BiH farmers need assistance increasing production per hectare while making their farms larger and more efficient overall.  They also need to improve processing, packaging, and marketing of their products.  Modernizing the BiH agricultural sector is important not only for the national economy but to alleviate the poverty that is so prevalent in rural areas of the country. 
 
Our Program
The Fostering Agricultural Markets Activity (FARMA) project -- jointly financed by USAID and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) -- is helping BiH expand its economy and prepare for accession to the EU through assistance that improves the competitiveness of BiH agricultural producers and businesses.  The FARMA program expands environmentally sustainable production and processing, including production of value-added agricultural and food products, increasing domestic and export sales.  Success in these areas will build solid economic growth and reduce rural poverty.  USAID and Sida collaborate on areas of overlap in BiH agricultural programs with the Czech government.
 
Implementation and Results
With staff in Sarajevo and in regional offices throughout the country, FARMA has assisted over 500 agricultural producer organizations (more than 25,000 participants) in 113 of BiH’s 142 municipalities. FARMA provided technical assistance and built capacity in the sector through training in the production of dairy, fruits and vegetables, medicinal and aromatic plants, and honey. The project also developed a series of trainings specifically targeting women entrepreneurs and women-led agricultural organizations. Through small grants, FARMA supplemented producers’ investments in new equipment, including cold storage units, drying facilities, sorting machines, tractor attachments, and other equipment. FARMA helped agricultural producers and processors connect to new markets by assisting in export-oriented marketing plans and providing grants to develop new products, such as creams and lotions. From the project's inception through the end of 2011 -- a period in which the rest of the BiH agricultural economy was shrinking – the value of sales of project beneficiaries increased by more than 28 percent.
 
For more information, please visit www.bosniafarma.ba or contact:
Drazena Peranic, USAID/BiH Development Outreach and Communications Specialist
 

Last updated: January 22, 2014

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