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Kosovo: Rural Economic Sustainability Initiative (RESI)– KSV903

Project Description

A recent milestone of political development has been that Kosovo signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU in October 2015. Nevertheless bureaucracy, corruption and limited legal security remain one of the biggest problems of the country. The legal and political environment is thus characterized by weak institutional development in terms of service provision and applying principles of good governance. As for the macro-economic developments, despite a recent economic growth of around 3,5%(World Bank 2015) over the last years, poverty and unemployment rates, especially youth unemployment, remain high. Persistent high levels of trade deficit reflect a weak production structure, which is prevalent also in the agricultural sector. Although Kosovo’s agriculture contributes with some 14% to the country´s GDP, it is dominated by semi-subsistent farming and small holdings. The prevalence of these characteristics indicates that agriculture represents an important social safety net for many. Further challenges are outdated technologies  and  farm  management  practices,  weak rural and advisory infrastructure and  lack of access  to  credit  and  investments. Having these challenges in mind it is not surprising that Kosovo’s agro-food trade deficit has been widening.

The objective of the project Rural Economic Sustainability Initiative (RESI) is to promote competitiveness of farmers, agricultural producers and food processing companies to enhance sustainable and inclusive rural development, job creation and income generation in the target municipalities Prishtinë/Priština, Novo Brdo/Novobërdë Kamenicë/a and Ranil(l)ug. To achieve sustainable project outcomes, it is imperative that new forms of agricultural production and innovative technologies can be unlocked to increase the productivity, stability, and resilience of production systems with goals beyond just raising yields, but including saving water and energy, reducing risk, improving product quality, protecting the environment and climate change mitigation.

Objectives

To contribute to a sustainable and inclusive rural economic development, as well as income and employment generation in the target municipalities Prishtinë/Priština, Novo Brdo/Novobërdë, Kamenicë/a and Ranil(l)ug.

Increased competitiveness of local farmers/producers/processors and new and inclusive rurally-based businesses strengthened/established as a result of an enabling and inclusive environment in the target municipalities.

Expected results

ER1: Building upon the experience of our “Integrated Regional Development in the Municipality of Suharekë/Suva Reka” (IRDS) project, this action will offer a comprehensive capacity development and organisational development package for at least 20 staff members from municipal agricultural departments. In addition 15 young professionals will be employed and trained. Thus the project will significantly contribute to strengthening resources of municipal support structures that will ultimately lead to enhance their profile as modern and efficient service, training and counseling centers in the field of local economic development. This allows them to serving the needs of agricultural producers and processors.

ER2: A regional grant scheme will be established with the purpose of strengthening and building integrated agricultural value chains in the respective municipalities.

ER3: A special emphasis will be placed on the promotion of initiatives designed by women, socio-economically vulnerable groups and associations/cooperatives representing them.

Target group/beneficiaries

The project will benefit at least 750 farmers (male and female), 15 young professionals, 20 public employees, 90 individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds (from which 50% women) and that consist mainly of small holder farmers, members of marginalized ethnic minorities, widows and female headed households. Given the comprehensive training component for the target municipalities, it is expected that at least 10.000 farmers will be indirectly reached via public agribusiness advisory services in the 4 municipalities. Indirect beneficiaries represent some 65.000 individuals from the targeted rural populations.

Location

Kosovo, four target municipalities that will be included into the action: Prishtinë/Priština as the main beneficiary and Novo Brdo/Novobërdë, Kamenicë/a and Ranil(l)ug as secondary beneficiary municipalities.

Duration

 01.09.2016 – 31.08.2019

Budget

EUR 3.394.736,84

Donors