The FARMA II project supported the RS Association of Farmers – Dairy Producers to train and equip their members to grow their herds by performing artificial insemination of cattle, to optimize animal feeding using the newly developed OptiMilk web application, and to start applying free-range cattle breeding practices.

BANJA LUKA, September 15, 2020 – The Republika Srpska (RS) Association of Farmers – Dairy Producers, supported by the Sweden/USAID FARMA II project, organized today in Banja Luka, the final testing of 24 farmers trained in the artificial insemination (AI) of cattle and awarded 20 sets of the AI equipment for the farms they work on.

The AI training and equipment, which will help farmers grow their herds and increase the production and quality of milk, are part of a larger undertaking to modernize dairy farming. It also included the development of the OptiMilk web application, which will enable an additional 120 members of the association of farmers to create and dose optimal animal feed mixes using the ingredients at their disposal. The FARMA II project also supported the association in producing a book on the free-range cattle breeding, to help farmers to follow the latest EU trends in dairy farming.

“Members of our association produce some 40 million liters of milk a year. This accounts for 15 percent of the milk produced in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we want to increase that,” said Vladimir Usorac, President of the RS Association of Framer – Dairy Producers.

"The grant we received from the Sweden/USAID FARMA II project enabled us to provide training courses for our farmers we have not done in 20 years. As of today, they will be able to perform the artificial insemination of cattle in a timely fashion, without having to wait for veterinarians who are often elusive. This will help grow their herds and with the OptiMilk web application they will be able to optimize cattle feeding during the lactating period and increase the milk yields.”

It is expected that during the first year following the training, members of the RS Association of Farmers – Dairy Producers would increase the milk production by 800,000 liters.

"Dairy production is an important sector of agriculture in Republika Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina as a whole. The training courses provided to our farmers with the support of the FARMA II project, should be just the beginning," said Goran Bursać, RS Assistent Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Water Management.

"We are working to modernize the milk production and follow all the latest trends in dairy farming. With that said, we will be looking to support the farmers to apply free-range cattle breeding practices and will work with the RS Association of Farmers – Dairy Producers to establish an online registry of herds that will enable us to monitor and improve the health of cattle and milk quality."

The Sweden/USAID FARMA II project supported BiH dairy producers in meeting necessary food safety standards and prepared them for the inspection by the EU Food and Veterinary Office. The project is currently helping dairy producers to increase yields and quality of their products and to increase exports to the EU and other international markets.