20 Years of USAID Agriculture Support to Bosnia and Herzegovina

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USAID recently ended 20 yeras of successful support for the agriculture sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina. USAID and donor partners, such as Sweden, helped increase farm incomes, boost production and quality standards to allow for more exports, helped add jobs, and improved government agriculture policies and practicies. This video tells the story of 20 years of agriculture support to Bosnia and Herzegovina by USAID.

Video Transcript 
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a predominately rural country with more than 60 percent of the population living in rural areas. Agricultural investment is essential to stimulating rural development, generating jobs, and creating a stable foundation for broader economic growth. Through its projects in the agriculture sector, USAID has invested over $60 million to help agricultural producers across BiH. For over 20 years, USAID has helped thousands of small farmers expand production, improve product quality, adopt new technologies, and access new markets. USAID’s projects, directly and indirectly, assisted about 23,000 beneficiaries; established collaboration with over 300 sectoral organizations; and prepared and proposed dozens of laws, regulations, or guidelines for developing the agricultural sector in BiH. Over the last five- and one-half years, as part of the FARMA II project, USAID and the Government of Sweden directed $17.75 million at the development of five sectors of agriculture in BiH: dairy, poultry, fruit and vegetable, medicinal and aromatic plants, and honey. Over this period of time, sales and exports of agricultural products from Bosnia and Herzegovina more than doubled thanks to the joint efforts in developing the sector. Very significant steps forward have been made in the dairy industry, resulting in placing BiH on the list of countries allowed to export to all types of milk and dairy products to the European Union in 2018. Many small-scale companies have been supported as part of these activities, such as Alpino Goat Farm, which received a grant for purchase the modern flow pack machine which uses environmentally friendly degradable paper for packing natural soap. “We decided to produce natural goat milk soap. All ingredients are entirely natural: the milk is from our farm, from our goats. But we had one small-capacity pack machine. Unfortunately, it was also a machine that used heat-shrinkable foil that is not environmentally friendly. However, we did not have the money to buy a better machine that would speed up production. Fortunately, we heard about the FARMA II project, and we applied for the grant. That’s how we got the modern flow pack machine. And now we don’t have a problem with packaging anymore, and we can produce more products. I hope that by the end of the year we will start exporting to another country.” Technical assistance has been provided for more than 17,800 people from the private sector, of whom more than 6,500 are women. One of them is Nermina Hrustanović from Baš-Bašča fruit plantation. “The FARMA II project helped us to get the fruit drying machine we much needed. We produce a lot of plums at the same time, so we need to dry them soon. After we meet the needs of the domestic market with our products, which we could not do before, we plan to export dried fruit.” As part of support to food producers to cope with the negative economic effects pf the COVID-19 pandemic, the FARMA II project launched Hrana Gurmana platform which supports over 140 small local businesses and promotes their high-quality food and agricultural products. Recently, the FARMA II project officially closed, leaving behind over 1,000 new jobs. But USAID’s partnership and support for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s economic strengthening do not end here. USAID continues to be committed to helping the growth of BiH, its free market and its path to Euro-Atlantic integration, focusing on agro-tourism as one of the most promising areas of development. Bosna i Hercegovina pretežno je ruralna zemlja sa više od 60 posto stanovništva upravo u tim područjima. Ulaganja u poljoprivredu suštinska su za poticanje ruralnog razvoja, stvaranje radnih mjesta i stvaranje stabilnih temelja za širi ekonomski rast. Kroz svoje projekte u sektoru poljoprivrede, USAID je uložio više od 60 miliona dolara za pomoć poljoprivrednim proizvođačima širom BiH. U proteklih 20 godina, USAID je pomogao na hiljade malih poljoprivrednika u proširenju proizvodnje, poboljšanju kvaliteta proizvoda, primjenu novih tehnologija i pristup novim tržištima. Kroz svoje projekte USAID je direktno i indirektno, podržao oko 23.000 korisnika, uspostavio suradnju sa preko 300 lokalnih organizacija, te priredio i predložio desetine zakona, propisa ili smjernica za razvoj poljoprivrednog sektora u BiH. U posljednjih pet i pol godina, u okviru projekta FARMA II, USAID i Vlada Švedske usmjerili su 17,75 miliona dolara na razvoj pet sektora poljoprivrede u BiH: mliječna industrija, peradarstvo, voćarstvo i povrtlarstvo, ljekovito i začinsko bilje i med. Tokom ovog perioda, prodaja i izvoz poljoprivrednih proizvoda iz Bosne i Hercegovine su se i više nego udvostručili zahvaljujući zajedničkim naporima u razvoju ovog sektora. 2018. godine su u mliječnoj industriji učinjeni vrlo značajni pomaci, što je rezultiralo stavljanjem BiH na listu zemalja kojima je dozvoljeno izvoziti sve vrste mlijeka i mliječnih proizvoda u Evropsku uniju. Mnoge male kompanije koje su dobile podršku u okviru ovih aktivnosti, kao što je farma koza Alpino, koja je dobila grant za kupovinu automatizovane mašine za pakovanje sapuna, koja koristi ekološki razgradivi papir za pakovanje prirodnih sapuna proizvedenih od kozijeg mlijeka. “Odlučili smo se za proizvodnju prirodnog sapuna od kozjeg mlijeka. Svi sastojci su potpuno prirodni: mlijeko je s naše farme, od naših koza. Imali smo jednu mašinu za pakovanje nedovoljnog kapaciteta. Nažalost, to je bila i mašina koja je koristila termoskupljajuću foliju koja nije ekološki prihvatljiva. Nismo imali novca za kupovinu bolje mašine koja bi ubrzala proizvodnju. Srećom, čuli smo za projekat FARMA II i prijavili smo se za grant. Tako smo dobili modernu mašinu za pakovanje proizvoda i sada više nemamo problema s pakiranjem i možemo povećati proizvodnju. Nadam se da ćemo do kraja godine početi izvoziti u druge zemlje.” Više od 17.800 je ljudi iz privatnog sektora, koji su dobili tehničku podršku a više od 6.500 korisnika su žene. Jedna od njih je Nermina Hrustanović vlasnica voćnjaka Baš-Bašča. „Projekat FARMA II pomogao nam je da nabavimo mašinu za sušenje voća koja nam je prijeko potrebna. Proizvodimo mnogo šljiva, pa ih nakon berbe moramo odmah osušiti. Nakon što sa našim proizvodima podmirimo potrebe domaćeg tržišta, što ranije nismo bili u mogućnosti, planiramo izvoz sušenog voća. ” Kao dio podrške proizvođačima hrane koji se suočavanju sa negativnim ekonomskim učincima pandemije COVID-19, projekt FARMA II pokrenuo je platformu Hrana Gurmana koja podržava preko 140 malih lokalnih poduzeća i promovira njihovu visokokvalitetnu hranu i poljoprivredne proizvode. Nedavno je projekt FARMA II službeno zatvoren, ostavljajući iza sebe preko 1.000 novo otvorenih radnih mjesta. No, partnerstvo USAID-a i podrška ekonomskom jačanju Bosne i Hercegovine ne završavaju se ovdje. USAID je i dalje posvećen rastu i razvoju BiH, razvoju slobodnog tržištu i njenom putu ka euroatlantskim integracijama, fokusirajući se na agroturizam kao na jedno od najperspektivnijih područja razvoja.

Last updated: September 23, 2021

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