In Kosovo, Farming Is a bountiful business

In Kosovo Farming is a bountiful business
Trimor Hyseni, 27, is the newest agriculture inspiration in Kosovo’s Ferizaj region.
USAID Agricultural Growth and Rural Opportunities (Tetra Tech)
Investments in agriculture prove profitable for young Kosovars
“I realized that investing in farming is just as profitable as investing in any other business. It is a real business, and a profitable one at that.”

August 2017— A city boy himself, 27-year-old Trimor Hyseni never dreamt that he would one day become a successful raspberry farmer and an inspiration to young people in Kosovo.

In spring 2016, using his own resources, he bought 24,000 superior-quality raspberry canes and planted them on 3 hectares of land, which he leased. His idea to start a business in agriculture and invest in growing raspberries came through much study and discussion with existing growers.

“I realized that investing in farming is just as profitable as investing in any other business. It is a real business, and a profitable one at that,” said Hyseni.

The reputation of farming as a business is encouraging many young people to engage in the sector. Currently, more than 70 percent of the country’s approximately 3,000 raspberry producers are young farmers, eager to follow the example of Hyseni and others.

It is harvesting season for Hyseni and other first-time farmers. Last year he harvested 20,000 kilograms of raspberries valued at 25,000 euros, while this year he projects a harvest of 35,000 kilograms. During harvest time, Hyseni employs more than 20 seasonal workers.

Hyseni is one of many farmers who received assistance from USAID’s Agricultural Growth and Rural Opportunities program, which advised him from the time he began planning his new enterprise, through analysis, planting preparation and crop management, right up to harvest. Training in crop management helped him maximize his yield.

“I think one of the most important things I did was to abide by the technical advice that I received from USAID’s program. The guidance was continuous, easy to follow and was crucial in building my business up from the ground,” explained Hyseni.

Critically, this new farmer realized that good planting material “does not cost—it pays,” and he invested in the best planting canes available. His total investment in planting the 3-hectare orchard was 35,000 euros, derived from his own long-standing retail business in Ferizaj. 

With the good results experienced so far, Hyseni plans to lease another 3 hectares of land and go all out in making the raspberry business his main business. He plans on adding a cooling facility to keep raspberries fresh for longer, realizing better prices.

The Agricultural Growth and Rural Opportunities program, which runs from 2015 to 2020, works to strengthen the competitiveness of targeted Kosovo agribusinesses by increasing the country’s agricultural productivity, marketability and responsiveness to both domestic and export markets.

All 3,000 growers, like Hyseni, have received training in planning, production through to harvesting, irrigation management, and the use of agricultural inputs to generate maximum yields as well as linkage to collection centers and the market. In many cases, financial resources have been leveraged from municipalities to support growers.   

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Last updated: August 24, 2017

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