Consulting Services to the Fostering Agricultural Markets Activity (FARMA)
The purpose of the first phase of the USAID and Sida funded FARMA was to provide technical assistance in agricultural sub-sectors through demand driven assistance aimed at improved competitiveness of agricultural products. To meet the European Union’s (EU) accession criteria for economic readiness and compete in a global business environment, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) agricultural sector must increase the volume, variety, and quality of its output while lowering the cost to producers. To achieve this, BiH farmers need assistance to improve production yields and efficiency. They also need to improve processing, packaging, and marketing of their products. Modernizing the BiH agricultural sector is important not only for the national economy but to alleviate the poverty that is so prevalent in rural areas of the country.
FARMA aimed to expand environmentally sustainable production, processing, and sales of value-added agricultural products and contribute to poverty reduction. FARMA supported BiH expand its economy and prepare for accession to the EU through assistance that improves the competitiveness of BiH agricultural producers and businesses. FARMA worked in three agricultural sectors: dairy, fruit and vegetables, and medicinal and aromatic plants and honey. The project’s approach focused on four integrated components: Building sustainable market linkages for producers; Increasing access to finance; Building the capacity of Producer Organisations and other counterparts; and Enhancing the policy environment to benefit competitiveness of agricultural goods.
With staff in Sarajevo and in regional offices throughout the country, FARMA has assisted over 500 agricultural Producer Organisations and over 18,000 individual farmers throughout BiH. FARMA used various tools, including results-based grant funds for catalytic activities to supplement producers’ investments in new equipment, new technologies, meeting EU standards etc. FARMA also helped agricultural producers and processors connect to new markets though market linkages, improved marketing and new product development as well as access new finance. FARMA was implemented by Chemonics International with ORGUT as a subcontractor. ORGUT provided consulting services to support increased agricultural competitiveness, meeting EU accession standards, reducing poverty by expanding environmentally sustainable production, and increasing sales, exports, and employment.