For Immediate Release
USAID Mission Director, James Stein symbolically opened the corn harvest today in Pelagonija where farmers, with the help of the USAID Small Business Expansion Project and its Grow More Corn initiative, have achieved record-breaking corn yields this growing season. The first phase of the initiative began in May with the financing and installation of drip-irrigation technology and training programs to teach innovative farming practices to 40 farmers in Polog and Pelagonija. After a successful growing season, all participating farmers in the Polog and Pelagonija regions have increased their yields by an average of 21% for corn grain and by 45% for corn silage (a livestock feed made from corn stalks and leaves).
“The American people, through USAID, have been supporting economic growth in Macedonia for 20 years through programs like this one that strengthen and improve the competitiveness of Macedonian agribusinesses. When you look at what these farmers have accomplished, the power of innovation in transforming small-scale farming into a profitable business is undeniable,” said USAID Mission Director James Stein “We encourage farmers to think of themselves as small businesses. As they invest and grow their businesses, they become a driving force of the local economy.”
The Grow More Corn initiative will continue with its second phase in 2014 by helping more corn farmers from Polog and Pelagonija become competitive small businesses by investing in drip-irrigation technology and using innovative agricultural practices. By modernizing corn production in Macedonia, the initiative will improve the incomes of micro and small agribusinesses, and create value for other related industries, like the dairy and poultry industries which depend on corn for animal feed.
Last updated: November 06, 2013