- Total funding: $18 million
- Period: January 2016 - January 2021
Agriculture is an important contributor to the economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in many respects as it provides for 10% of the country’s exports, generates 8% of GDP and provides employment for about 20% of the national labor force. In a country with persistently high unemployment (estimated at around 27%) and a high incidence of rural poverty, agriculture and food processing are critical elements for the livelihoods of many rural citizens. With the recently submitted application for EU candidacy status, BiH has made a critical step towards EU membership. To meet all of the requirements, agricultural and food production must increase its export competitiveness. The key to making the most out of the future membership will be how quickly and effectively BiH can reform the legislative and regulatory environment to comply with the requirements of EU accession.
USAID/Sida FARMA II Vision
Sweden/USAID FARMA II project is confirmation of USAID and the Government of Sweden’s vision that local consumers can and should have confidence in buying BiH-produced food and agricultural goods which can also be exported to EU markets. This five-year project will provide technical assistance and training to targeted subsectors through a demand-driven program aimed at improving the competitiveness of food and agricultural products by expanding environmentally sustainable production and processing, and enhancing the production of value-added food products. Success in these areas will contribute greatly to the inclusive economic growth in the agricultural sector and reduce rural poverty.
Implementation and Results
With staff based throughout the country, Sweden/USAID FARMA II will work with producer organizations and individual farmers to improve their yields and product quality. Training and technical assistance will specifically target women entrepreneurs and women-led agricultural producer organizations. Working with the government on drafting and implementing EU required legislation is another one of the main pillars of the project approach. By improving the regulatory environment and harmonizing local legislation with EU requirements, the project will strengthen the ability of the private sector to access EU markets, increase exports, increase farmer incomes, create jobs and ultimately reduce poverty. Activity goals for the Sweden/USAID FARMA II project are ambitious, including working with nearly 60% of the agricultural sector, assisting them to increase sales and exports and generating new jobs within the assisted value chains. The project will further contribute to export competitiveness by working with agricultural companies to help them implement EU standards and quality certifications.