LIVNO, May 12 (FENA) – Director of the USAID Mission in BiH, Nancy J. Eslick said today that sales and exports of agricultural products from Bosnia and Herzegovina have more than doubled over the past five and a half years, thanks to the joint efforts of governments of the US and Sweden in developing the sector.
The USAID Mission Director Nancy J. Eslick visited cheese producer Eko sir Puđa in Livno, which received development grants from the Sweden/USAID FARMA II project. The grants helped the company develop the network of more than 200 contracted dairy farmers, modernize the factory, improve product quality, and obtain EU export licenses.
“Eko sir Puđa is one of the examples where a clear business development vision was supported through targeted assistance, which lead to the company increasing the number of contracted farmers it works with and securing their livelihoods. With USAID’s and Swedish support, the company increased its production and product quality, and introduced new products to the market with increased sales and exports,” said Eslick.
“The company is now also improving its packaging and marketing, and its constant development is having a positive economic impact on the entire Livno region.”
The USD 17.75 million Sweden/USAID FARMA II project, is concluding its activities in the country. It worked in five sectors of agriculture: dairy, poultry, fruits and vegetables, honey, and medicinal and aromatic plants. The project implemented 186 grants, supported the work of more than 3,700 producer organizations and trained over 19,000 people from private and public sectors, of whom 37 percent are women.
Project activities led to a reform of 31 relevant policies, accreditation of eleven public institutions, and certification of 950 producers in good agricultural practices and food safety standards.
As a result, FARMA II supported producers doubled their sales from BAM 670 million in 2015 to BAM 1.32 billion, in 2019, while exports increased three and a half times in the same period, from BAM 53 to BAM 191 million. A total of 1,029 new jobs were created.
“We are happy that the FARMA II project delivered concrete results for thousands of agricultural producers and households across the country. While the USAID is winding down its direct support to the development of agriculture, it remains a committed partner to domestic institutions and the EU that will continue to build on its achievements,” said Eslick.