New Opportunities for Agriculture, Kosovo
Tetra Tech is supporting the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) New Opportunities for Agriculture (NOA), which aims to build sustainable, high value-added, agriculture-based industries in Kosovo that can substitute food imports and enable access to export markets.Despite the Government of Kosovo’s significant progress in maintaining macroeconomic stability and transitioning to a market-based economy, Kosovo remains among the poorest countries in Europe, with an average annual per capita income of less than $2,500 over the last decade.
Among Kosovo’s 2.2 million citizens, unemployment is between 45 and 75 percent. Roughly 44 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, with the majority of impoverished citizens residing in rural areas. The United States is committed to building and sustaining a stable, democratic, and economically-viable Kosovo. For USAID this translates into a vision of a viable economy and an inclusive democracy on the path to European integration. An improved agricultural sector is important to increasing private sector-led economic growth.
Thanks for the weekly report. It was good news to learn that NOA facilitated an export contract between the Krusha Women's Association and a buyer in Albania for the sale of 350 tons of peppers. Nice work!Brian Fahey, Senior Agricultural Development Advisor, USAID/Kosovo
Tetra Tech contributes to Kosovo’s economic growth through agricultural diversification, export development, and import substitution, focusing on 10 potential value chains: gherkins, lettuce, asparagus, apples, table grapes, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, dairy, saffron, and other medicinal and aromatic products. NOA introduces new products to local producers; increases production; and facilitates linkages to domestic, regional, and international markets, bringing the quality and safety of local goods to international standards. Since access to financing is critical to these objectives, the NOA project has assisted in establishing a host-country-funded Development Credit Authority (DCA) loan guarantee program, in which six commercial banks are now participating. While NOA places the private sector at the forefront of its interventions, the project also provides direct technical assistance to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development, and other national institutions to optimize donor coordination. This assistance aims to build capacity to address challenges within the sector and assist the Government of Kosovo in advancing key aspects of their agricultural development strategy.
NOA strongly emphasizes social inclusion, ensuring the participation of women, youth, and other disadvantaged groups in project activities. Training and technical services provisions engage local and regional expertise, facilitated by a $2.8-million Innovation and Incentive Fund that provides grants to growers, supervising entities, and supports subcontracts to local service providers through which technical and business development services are procured.
Through NOA, Tetra Tech is providing the following services:
- Agricultural competitiveness
- Association strengthening
- Business linkages and support services
- Enterprise development
- Food safety
- Global Partnerships for Good Agricultural Practices (Global GAP)
- Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACC)
- Input market systems
- Institutional development
- Market organization (information, intelligence, standards, linkages)
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Policy analysis
- Post-harvest storage and processing
- Production systems
- Productivity enhancement
- Rural enterprises
- Access to finance for the agriculture sector
- Sanitary and phytosanitary standards and certification
- Agricultural value chain development