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

Inspecting BiH eggs for export
USAID-Sweden FARMA II Project

A follow-on project to USAID’s successful FARMA project, FARMA II provides technical assistance and training to improve the competitiveness of food and agricultural products. Cardno Emerging Markets is USAID’s implementing partner for this $19 million project (USAID $9 million; Sweden $9 million).

Agriculture is an important contributor to the economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in many respects as it provides for 10 percent of the country’s exports, generates 8 percent of GDP and provides employment for about 20 percent of the national labor force. In a country with persistently high unemployment (estimated at around 27 percent) and a high incidence of rural poverty, agriculture and food processing are critical elements for the livelihoods of many rural citizens. With its application for EU candidacy status, BiH made a critical step toward EU membership. BiH must quickly and effectively reform the legislative and regulatory environment to comply with the requirements of EU accession.

USAID ASSISTANCE

Launched in January 2016, the second rendition of USAID’s Fostering Agricultural Markets Activity (FARMA II) confirms USAID and the Swedish Government’s vision that local consumers can and should have confidence in buying BiH-produced food and agricultural goods that can also be exported to EU markets. This project will provide technical assistance and training to targeted subsectors aimed at improving the competitiveness of food and agricultural products by expanding environmentally sustainable production and processing and enhancing the production of value-added food products. Success in these areas will contribute greatly to the inclusive economic growth in the agricultural sector and reduce rural poverty.

IMPLEMENTATION AND RESULTS

With staff based throughout the country, FARMA II works with producer organizations and individual farmers to improve their yields and product quality. Training and technical assistance specifically target women entrepreneurs and women-led agricultural producer organizations. By 2020, it is expected that at least 40 percent of FARMA’s beneficiaries will be women.

Working with the government on drafting and implementing EU required legislation is another main pillar of the project. By improving the regulatory environment and harmonizing local legislation with EU requirements, FARMA II strengthens the ability of the private sector to access EU markets, increase exports, increase farmer incomes, create jobs and ultimately reduce poverty.

The project works with nearly 60 percent of the agricultural sector, assisting them to increase sales by 65 percent and exports by 90 percent and generating more than 2,000 new jobs within the assisted value chains. FARMA II further contributes to export competitiveness by working with at least 500 agricultural companies to help them implement EU standards and quality certifications.

RESULTS SO FAR

As of February 2020, more than 1,800 producer organizations had been involved in FARMA II activities: training, technical support, study tours, promotional events, and other efforts related to product quality certification. To date, 607 producer organizations have obtained quality certificates with USAID assistance. FARMA II-assisted beneficiaries invested almost $30 million in the agricultural sector and created 811 new full-time jobs. FARMA II beneficiaries reached cumulative growth in exports of around 53 percent and cumulative growth in sales of 24 percent. More than 33 percent of participants in the training, seminars, and other activities were women. 

Other major accomplishments include:

  • BiH Rural Development Strategic Plan:  This framework document was adopted in January 2018, leading to new funding from the EU to support the agricultural sector. Through FARMA II, USAID provided substantial input to this document.
  • EU approval of BiH exports of poultry meat, poultry products, and eggs used in processed goods into the EU. This was one of the major goals of the FARMA II project, and it has been achieved through the joint efforts of FARMA II, the BiH government, relevant institutions, and the private sector.

For more information, please visit www.farmabih.ba/en.

Last updated: February 24, 2020

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