Project “Support to Agribusiness of the Gjilan/Gnjilane Region” is a project supported by European Union and is implemented by CARE International in partnership with ATRC and Gjilan Municipality.

Project is focused on three main pillars:

  • Activities for Agriculture Development
  • Activities for Economic Development
  • Activities for Advocacy and Lobbying

The project aims to utilize the new developments in Kosovo, in Gjilan/Gnjilane region, as well as to provide cooperation of producers and businesses between the Kosovo’s economic regions. One of the fastest developing crops within the agricultural sector is the salads production. Kosovo and the region specifically is very well known for its salad production, but limited only to a couple of types, such as lettuce and spinach. The aim of this action is to contribute to the development of diversified and increased agriculture production by introducing new lettuces varieties and extending harvest and post-harvest shipping season.

Aromatic and Medicinal Plants (MAPs) are the main non-timber agro-forestry business in Kosovo, generating more than 5 million Euros per year and involving, mostly as a part time activity, more than 15,000 rural residents. The value chain is mainly export-oriented to pharmaceutical or cosmetics industry in western European countries. Kosovo is a major regional player for some products, such as Primula Veris, wild mushrooms, blueberries, etc. In some specific markets and market segments, Kosovo products have great potential to become leaders on the market, in the case of Primula veris, wild mushrooms, and also cultivated medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP). Most of the MAP businesses are based on wild products.

The labour market situation remains unfavorable in Kosovo, mainly due to the general demographic and economic circumstances: according to the 2011 Kosovo Census, around 40% of the population is economically active(aged 15 and over), while the unemployment rate among them is estimated to as high as 45%. The project will deal with this issue in a way of engaging the Gnjilan/Gnjilane Municipal Business Centre, which will serve as a constant link between the education institutions and businesses for involving newly graduated or trained youth to practice and better access the labour market, thus developing HR capacities of Gjilan/Gnjilane region. The Business Centre will also provide other services to businesses through the creation of the web portal, which will collect and publish documents and information that are of interest to businesses, such as manuals, guides, resources, funding opportunities, events and linkages to other stakeholders. The Business Centre (BSC) will also be responsible to organize events and meetings of interested stakeholders.

The activities of lobbying and advocating for the interest of a agribusiness stakeholders in Gjilan region is very limited. Advocacy, the process of influencing the decision makers, in Gjilan/Gnjilane is not entirely lacking, it is more poorly organized and planned which directly influences the power of agribusiness and their role in planning and decision making process.

Overall objective is to contribute to economic regeneration of the Gjilan/Gnjilane region

The action that will be implemented by CARE as the applicant and Municipality of Gjilan/Gnjilane and Advocacy Training and Resource Centre (ATRC), as co-applicants seeks to contribute to economic regeneration and creation of favorable conditions for business development in Gjilan/Gnjilane region.

Specific objectives

  1. To set up the production and marketing chains for new merchandise in the local market and
  2. To improve capacities for business development of youth and other marginalized groups through their involvement in agriculture and other business activities.

Expected Results:

Expected Result 1: 50 new jobs created through introduction of integrated salad production. This result will create 50 direct new jobs and additional 200 jobs will be indirectly created through introduction of integrated salad production in Gjilan/Gnjilane economic region;

Expected Result 2: 50 jobs and 500 income generation opportunities created on cultivation of medicinal/aromatic plants and in non-timber forest production (NTFP);

Expected Result 3: Local capacities for business development enhanced. This will be done through a capacity building program for the Gnjilan/Gnjilane Business Support Centre (BSC) and skills development and job placement for 100 high school graduates, university students or vocational education centre students;

Expected result 4: Increased capacities of local businesses in advocacy and lobbying for favourable conditions for agribusiness;