On 16 - 22 July 2014, farmers from Bratunac, Srebrenica and Milici were trained on which measures to be applied for saving their production, heavily damaged by the recent floods. Meanwhile, 16 representatives from 10 smallholder farmer’s organizations from Posavina area attended a training on 21 July focused on improving their management skills.

The trainings were held in the framework of the project "Smallholders Farmer’s Access to Markets in Eastern and Northern Bosnia and Herzegovina and Northern Albania". The project was co-funded through the CEI Know-how Exchange Programme (KEP), financed by the CEI Fund at the EBRD, entirely supported by the Italian Government, with a grant of 36.600 EUR, contributed towards the total project cost of nearly 80.000 EUR.

The project addresses the problem of limited access to regional and international markets for local products due to low competitiveness of local producers, lack of skilled workers and scientific information about products, as well as the lack of overall awareness about opportunities.
Oxfam Italy is the main know-how provider, while the beneficiaries are the Association of Citizens Independent Office for Development and Association Drina Euro Region from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Cooperative “Rec Agripyjor”, from Albania’s Shkoder Region.

During the training, local farmers were advised on how to apply all the necessary measures to protect the plants so they could expect satisfactory yield regardless of the damage inflicted by the floods. Following the field visits, the Oxfam team found that producers in Konjevic Polje were facing the greatest problems, since many of their crops were completely destroyed, with mud-levels reaching 20-25 cm.

Meanwhile, the training in Posavina for smallholders farmer representatives focused on improving management of smallholder farmers organisations, negatively influenced by an overall bad business environment. The participants agreed that government support programmes on different levels should be improved, and that they should advocate for the removal of several par-fiscal taxes.

For more information: kep.italy@cei.int

regional cooperation for European Integration and sustainable development