In the next 12 months, USAID/Sweden FARMA II will support interested organizations and individual farmers in the process of introducing GLOBALG.A.P. and organic standards
According to the recent research, the consumer concerns about pesticide residues in food range from 63% in Europe, to 85% in the US. The awareness of this issue is increasing in BiH as well, putting pressure on the local food producers to adopt the relevant food safety and environmentally friendly standards.
To support and encourage this process, USAID/Sweden FARMA II signed the contracts today with the three selected service providers: Association for support and development of standards in agricultural production and processing in Bosnia and Herzegovina „OK“, Association „Razvojni centar Argonet“ Banja Luka and AgroLink doo Sarajevo. These three organizations will assist the producer organizations and individual farmers in the fruit and vegetables and the medicinal and aromatic plants sectors to understand and implement GLOBALG.A.P. or organic standards in production and processing. This process will result in better food safety at the local level, bring environmental benefits and increase the access to the EU markets.
Technical assistance will be provided in a form of direct support to selected POs and/or individual farmers in order to prepare them for external inspection by certification body. This will include field work, trainings, preparation of documents, and other necessary activities.
To date, 25 organizations and 314 individual farmers requested support for the introduction of one of these two standards. Other agricultural producers, their organizations and food processing companies interested in GLOBALG.A.P. or organic certification should send their requests to USAID/Sweden FARMA II via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the potential beneficiaries is agricultural cooperative Uvac from Rudo, dealing with raspberries, which is interested to certify its members with GLOBALG.A.P. standard. The director of this cooperative, Mr. Nenad Ljubojevic, stated: “Our buyers in the export markets asked us to certify the production of raspberries, in order to improve food safety and enable traceability from the consumer to the producer level. This project will be of great support to our competitiveness.”
In order to improve the food safety standards, USAID/Sweden FARMA II also plans to support the introduction of IPM standard (IPM – Integrated Pest Management), which promotes the minimal use of chemicals during the production of agricultural products. Additional activities are planned with relevant authorities to further regulate the use of pesticides in Bosnia and Herzegovina.