In the framework of the project “Smallholders Farmers’ Access to Markets in Eastern and Northern Bosnia-Herzegovina and Northern Albania” a series of trainings for representatives of farmers' associations and municipal officials were held in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 8 April 2014 (in Foca and Gorazde) and on 23 April 2014 (in Bratunac and Posavina).

The project is sponsored by the Know-How Exchange Programme (KEP) financed by the CEI Fund at the EBRD, contributed by Italy. Out of the total cost of the project (79.527 EUR), the CEI support amounts to 39.600 EUR.

The KEP is an instrument co-financing projects promoting the transfer of know-how and best practices from EU to non-EU CEI Member States. In this regard, the main know-how provider is Oxfam Italia, in collaboration with the Association for Entrepreneurship and Employment of Mostar and Žepče, and the Regional Department of Agriculture of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The beneficiary institutions include local agencies, associations and cooperatives in Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The trainings held on 8 April in Foca and Gorazde were attended by representatives from the agricultural departments of the municipalities of the Bosnia-Podrinje Canton, local farmers cooperatives, and associations. The workshop focused on topics related to the organisation of agricultural services in local communities, the quality management for associations and cooperatives as well as the products of small farmers. Konjic municipality - which represents a best-case example on how agricultural services could be properly organised - presented their working principles. Associations and cooperatives were offered assistance to improve their management and activities.
The trainings held on the 23 April in Bratunac and Posavina - mainly on organisation management and business planning - gathered mostly female participants from 7 local organisations working on rural development.

The project started in January 2014 and will last 18 months. It aims at supporting local development through an integrated approach designed to add value to local and traditional products with market potential, by sustaining local value chains, facilitating access of smallholder farmers to regional, national and international markets, promoting cooperation among local farmer associations, small and medium enterprises, and local and national institutions.

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