October 1, 2021 | Friday
Historically, the East Region of Kosovo is known for the production of fruits, vegetables and other agro-products. However, due to a lack of financial and any other institutional support there was a low interest of youth to become part of the agro-economy sector. Through the implementation of the project “Youth in Agribusiness- East Economic Region” which has been financed by the European Union, managed by the European Union Office in Kosovo and implemented by the Municipality of Gjilan in cooperation with East Region Municipalities, the interest of youth to enter the agriculture sector has increased.
Ilija Arsić is a 26-year-old farmer from the village of Shillovo in the Municipality of Gjilan/Gnjilane, with a long family tradition in agriculture.
In order to develop his business, Ilija has benefited from the project by receiving a mower, compost distributor, sprayer and other agricultural equipment’s. “The support I received from the project is great, because I benefited from machines that will enable me to increase productivity. Thanks to the support I received, I managed to hire another worker,” says Ilija Arsić.
Healthy living is increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables, each day and more. Ermira Bajrami, a young and very promising farmer from Ferizaj, has decided to invest in the cultivation of fruits and vegetables, and to open a business for fruit processing.
To support her effort, the Agribusiness Youth project has enabled Ermira to expand its fruit processing facility and to purchase machines for drying them. Thanks to the support received, she can now boost production and increase market share.
Meanwhile, Lindita Ibishi from the village of Dobërqan in the Municipality of Gjilan/Gnjilane, has a passion for raising and developing chickens. She turned her passion into a business by opening a chicken farm.
To grow its business, the Youth project in Agribusiness supported it by renovating the facility, purchasing incubators, freezers and other equipment. Lindita also attended the trainings on business plan development and return on investment, part of the project.
These are just some of the beneficiaries who received support from the project. According to the project manager Ermelinda Haziri, throughout a 30-month period, the EU funded project trained 104 young people in returns on agriculture investments, 100 young people in business plan development, 50 young people on agriculture (greenhouse production and seedling operation), 46 young people on processing products and 107 young people in ICT. Further she adds that 102 young people were part of the internship program in agribusinesses of East Region, while 7 existing and 37 start-up businesses which were established by youth have benefited from financial support from the project and now are running their businesses and generating income from those. Overall, through the implementation of the project 100 people have been employed 40% of which are women says Haziri.
The project was completed in February 2021, however, its sustainability and longevity are certain, with the establishment of the “Incubator of Agribusinesses- East Region” which serves as an office where farmers can be directed for their needs and concerns but also for further training of those interested in agribusiness sector. The incubator is currently implementing another project part of which are trainings and internships for youth in agribusiness sector.