Donor: USAID/Sida project FARMA

Agriculture sector is one of key economical sectors that offer viable opportunities for rural people and overall BiH’s society to enhance economical grow and expansion. Within this sector, medicinal and aromatic plants cultivation and collection sub-sector should be considered of the highest importance since it has the realistic potential and competitive advantage for the fastest grow taking into consideration the MAPs continuously growing market and the profitability of cultivating small land areas. The MAP raw material is highly demanded and many of the local MAP companies, that are lacking raw materials for their production, are forced to import them from other countries. MAP cultivation in BiH is recent trend that attracts growingly more farmers from all over BiH. It represents a unique opportunity for vulnerable population with small land holdings to become involved in profitable, commercial agriculture. In addition, by increasing cultivated plantations of MAPs, the pressure from overharvesting of wild MAPs will be reduced which have very positive environmental impact.

Rural women in Bosnia and Herzegovina are very often deeply involved in agricultural production but their role in household economy still remains marginal. For a variety of reasons, women existing and potential opportunities to contribute to the economic and social well-being of their families and communities remain largely underdeveloped. ACED’s experience from the previous projects with rural women show that MAP cultivation and collection is one of the priority interests of rural women. The involvement of women in MAP cultivation and collection gives an excellent opportunity for them to develop their own agricultural business that can significantly improve their household’s income. This involvement will empower women role in rural communities and will provide additional employment and security. In order to enable rural women to participate in this agricultural activity it is necessary to build their capacities and educate them about MAPs cultivation and collection principles and technologies as well as to provide practical trainings in MAPs relevant subjects.

The overall goal of this activity is to create a critical number of women in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are already engaged in agricultural farming, to start MAP cultivation and MAP collection according to GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) and which will represent a nucleus for the future MAP cultivation development in BiH. This activity will also provide additional and sustainable income generation opportunities to rural women engaging them to work on their own land. Additionally, it will promote cooperation and create business linkages between women involved in MAP cultivation and MAP processing companies, thus ensuring accordingly additional source of raw materials for MAP processing industry.

The specific objectives of this activity are to provide specialized trainings and practical exercise for the cultivation and collection of MAPs to the selected group consisting of 100 women from western and northwestern regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. These objectives will be achieved through provision of:
– Classroom trainings on MAP production and harvesting;
– Practical on-the-field lessons concerning MAP production and harvesting;
– Experimental fields for the project beneficiaries;
– Study tours, business linkage and training on business linkage in the MAP sector;
– Extension servise for the project beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries of this activity will be at least 100 women from western and northwestern territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the project duration is 12 months.