SUSI-LDF - Suhareka/Suva Reka Smallholder Initiative - Phase 2
The project aims to support agriculture and rural development in Kosovo by improving farming productivity, profitability and sustainability of smallholder farmers and facilitating their participation into higher value-added markets.
The implementation of this project will support smallholder farmers to use physical assets provided by the grant scheme and more advanced skills provided by extension services. The improved skills and capital assets along with better farming practices will lead to an improvement in the farming performance of smallholders, reflected in higher production or improved productivity and higher quality. Hence, they will lead to an increase in the smallholders’ livelihoods reflected as additional income. Improved performance of the farmers will also lead to additional full-time and part-time jobs. Furthermore, higher production or better yields of the smallholders will be generated through collaboration of farmers through joint actions. Finally, with the sustainability of the extension services, the project will support other farmers and in this way influence crowding-in effect by serving higher number of farmers.
The project will directly target 60-70 smallholder farmers out of which 40% of all targeted smallholders will be women farmers and 35% rural youth to improve their physical assets and technical skills in order to enhance their production base. The project will target both public or municipal and potential private extension service providers and improve their capacity for effective delivery of farm gate training. The project will provide support for up to 5 smallholder producer’s associations and cooperatives to organize joint services for its members. About 5 local businesses and important actors in the value chain in the field of agriculture such as collection points, food processing, traders, input suppliers will be supported in case they create sustainable linkages directly with smallholders. The municipality of Suharekë/Suhareka will be supported in improving the effectiveness of their grant scheme and focusing more on smallholders. In addition to the direct beneficiaries, extension services are expected to provide advisory services to additional 200 indirect beneficiaries and reach an estimated 100 other local smallholder producers through demonstration events.
The Project will support extension support services to provide more demand-driven support to smallholder farmers in a sustainable manner. Furthermore, the Project will improve smallholders’ physical assets through a grant scheme to enhance the performance of their agricultural activities reflected through higher production and higher yields or improved quality and give necessary boost to grasp growth potential and promise for poverty reduction. The Project will also focus on improving the capacity of producers’ organisations to introduce sound governance practices and to organise joint activities for its members.
Kosovo remains one of the poorest countries in Europe with very high unemployment and poverty rates compared to any country in the region, which have not significantly changed compared to previous years. Kosovo has many relevant national and sectoral strategies to reverse the difficult labour market and poverty conditions, however they either lack the focus on those most in need, or their implementation is hampered due to the lack of institutional capacity or weak funding. Poverty in Kosovo is largely a rural phenomenon since two-thirds of the poor live in rural areas. On the other hand, women, youth and less educated face the worst labour market outcomes. Kosovo remains a largely rural country and despite high potential, the agricultural sector is uncompetitive and unable to meet even domestic demand.