Agricultural Growth and Rural Opportunities Activity in Kosovo
To continue the successes of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) New Opportunities for Agriculture (NOA) Program, previously managed by Tetra Tech in Kosovo, USAID selected Tetra Tech to implement the Agricultural Growth and Rural Opportunities (AGRO) Activity. The AGRO program aims to develop a more competitive agriculture sector in Kosovo through technical assistance and grants to farmers, lead firms, and other organizations in targeted agriculture value chains.
Prior to the NOA Program, Kosovo’s agriculture sector suffered from a period of low agricultural productivity resulting from use of outdated, inappropriate farming equipment and widespread lack of awareness of improved agricultural production practices. The NOA Program began to address these issues by supporting the introduction of new crops, varieties, and production and processing technologies to improve yields, generate greater volumes of product, add value, and link production to domestic and export markets.
Through the AGRO Activity, Tetra Tech is continuing to assist the growth of Kosovo’s agriculture sector. Our work focuses on improving farm production and processing; increasing linkages to domestic, regional, and international markets; and strengthening strategic partners for growth. Strategic partners include large-scale aggregators (collection centers, pack houses, and processors), commercial farmers, producer and processor organizations, and public sector institutions that provide support services. By building effective linkages between these strategic partners, Tetra Tech is providing the foundation for broader value chain activity and growth.
Working through strategic partners, we are expanding the use of contract farming and supply contracting to increase production; expand widespread adoption of new, higher-yield crop varieties; and extend technical advisory services to farmers throughout Kosovo. AGRO is also using peer-to-peer training methodologies such as farmer field days and on-farm demonstrations to support the long-term sustainability of the program initiatives.
At the national level, Tetra Tech has launched a public awareness campaign and training programs, targeted at Kosovo’s agribusinesses and agricultural producers, to expand their understanding and adoption of internationally accepted food safety and quality standards. We are educating producers and processors about food quality and safety practices and standards so they can upgrade their facilities and improve their practices. Producers and processors then can obtain important, trade-enhancing certifications that improve the quality, safety, and marketability of their products on domestic, regional, and international markets.
The AGRO Activity is significantly expanding production of targeted crops in Kosovo, improving food safety and agricultural product quality, increasing farmer incomes, and creating new job opportunities.
In its first year of implementation, the program achieved more than $14 million in domestic and export sales. Producers planted more than 1,050 hectares using improved agricultural production technologies, and 39 firms received assistance to invest in improved technologies. The program provided agricultural and food security training to 1,680 individuals. More than 500 supply contracts were entered into, and 575 new jobs were created. In addition, interest among youth and women in Kosovo to enter the agriculture sector has increased through increased participation in our training programs. AGRO has approved grants for 21 grantees that will support value chain development for targeted crops.
Learn more about how Tetra Tech is continuing to help improve economic growth in Kosovo here.
For more information, read our snapshot: