Kosovo’s Raspberry Association Progressing Toward Self-Reliance

Thursday, February 6, 2020
Bountiful Made in Kosovo berries
Luljeta Kuraja, TetraTech for USAID

At the time of USAID’s initial investments in Kosovo, raspberries were an obscure crop. Fast forward to the end of 2019, and raspberries have become a massive export industry for Kosovo—earning almost $25 million to date. Farmers in Kosovo are earning as much as 10 times more for farming raspberries, compared to the traditional wheat crop; and young people are choosing farming as a career option. With more than 3,000 farmers reaping the benefits of growing raspberries, no other sector is generating and sustaining this level of employment in Kosovo. As this high-yield industry is expected to continue to boom, raspberry farmers are no longer requesting international aid but instead assisting each other.

In a show of commitment for this booming sector, the National Raspberry Association ‘Mjedra e Kosoves’ gathered more than 300 local, regional, and international stakeholders in Pristina on December 5, 2019, for the Fourth International Raspberry Conference.

The National Raspberry Association ‘Mjedra e Kosoves’ has taken ownership of this annual event and financed its organization through sponsorship from local companies, instead of depending on international donations, providing another example of a local Kosovo association taking the lead in their own development. USAID, through its Agriculture for Growth and Rural Opportunities activity, strengthened the capacity and commitment of the membership-based association ‘Mjedra e Kosoves’ to take ownership of the large-scale annual international gathering mentioned above. The USAID-funded support also assisted the association to become a self-sustaining institution that serves its members, which are collection centers and regional associations throughout Kosovo. USAID also provided support to the association to develop partnerships with the Government of Kosovo and to support the strategic development of the industry. As Kosovo continues to advance on its Journey to Self-Reliance, the raspberry sector is putting Kosovo on the map and is rife with examples of capacity and commitment.

Last updated: May 27, 2020

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