Success story from the sector of production and processing of medicinal plants
The story of “Halilović” family business dates back to the early 1980s. But it was not until the second half of the 1990s when the business was rebuilt after the war that their company focused on the cultivation and processing of medicinal plants.
"We have started with certification, plant collection and production of essential oils. The company has grown and became stronger and today we are engaged in the production and processing of medicinal and aromatic plants and cereals. Today, apart from Bosnia and Herzegovina, our products can be found all over the world,” explains Mejra Halilović, co-founder of the company.
In addition to generating income for their family, “Halilović” today have 24 full-time employees and also cooperate with farmers throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to Mrs. Halilović, young people should have a clear goal and look ahead, and with persistence and work they will achieve good results. Family estate “Halilović” is located on the Nišići plateau where organic medicinal plants are grown. Mejra says the biggest reason she started organic production was her love for nature.
"I always loved nature, and by looking at that beauty I realized that organic production is the future. The products made in this way are firstly important for the children, but also for anyone who takes care of themselves and their health,” adds Mejra.
Her love for Nišići, glades, roses, lavender, iris and mint she passed on to her children. They all live on the estate, she and her husband, her two sons and their daughters-in-law, three granddaughters and one grandson. “We all work together because we love what we do,” Mejra concludes.
A group of BiH producers, supported by Sweden/USAID FARMA II project and the BiH Foreign Trade Chamber, participated at "Natural Products Expo East - Biofach America" fair held regularly in Baltimore (USA) and products made by “Halilović” Ltd. Got to be promoted, whereas they found potential new partners. In the growing sector of medicinal plant production and processing, family-owned companies such as this one are finding a chance for development, investment and new markets.
Aimed at promotion of women in BiH agriculture, Sweden/USAID FARMA II started the campaign "They Go Forward". Within this campaign, we will publish positive stories about women in agri-food production and processing. In many cases, women who are informally, but practically highly engaged in domestic agricultural activities are considered unemployed housewives, and are therefore without incomes. Sweden/USAID FARMA II through its activities promotes and encourages women to legally register their production and become part of the official economy. Luckily, today there are successful women-owned or women-led companies that produce innovative and quality products that are sold both locally and at international markets. To assist women farmers in their endeavors, and to encourage other women who are in a similar position, FARMA II will prepare success stories that will be published and distributed to a wide audience.