COUNTRY PASTURE/FORAGE RESOURCE PROFILE

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

 

 

by
Senija Alibegovic-Grbic


1. INTRODUCTION
Land resources

2. SOILS AND TOPOGRAPHY
Topography
Soils
Land use change

3. CLIMATE AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES
Climate
Temperature
Hydrological cycle
Agro-ecological zones

4. RUMINANT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
Cattle and sheep
Dairy farming
Beef production
Sheep and goats
5. THE PASTURE RESOURCE
Forage production on arable land
Grassland

6. OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF PASTURE RESOURCES
Improvement of forage production on arable land
Improvement of forage production on grasslands

7. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONNEL

8. REFERENCES

9. CONTACTS

1. INTRODUCTION  

Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) is on the Balkan Peninsula, between 420 26' and 450 15' N and 150 45' and 190 41' E, bordered by Croatia (932 km) to the north, west and south, Serbia (302 km) to the east and Montenegro (225 km) to the south (Figure 1). Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for 26 kilometres of Adriatic coastline centred on the town of Neum. The country's name comes from the two regions Bosnia and Herzegovina which have a very vaguely defined border between them. Bosnia occupies the northern areas which form roughly four fifths of the country, while Herzegovina occupies the rest in the south.

Figure 1. Map of Bosnia and Herzegovina

FAO Editors Note

Administration, Population, Language and Currency.
At State level the administration is a Presidency with a Council of Ministers; the Capital is Sarajevo. There are two major administrative divisions separate entities - The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina with ten cantons and the Republika of Srpska divided into 62 municipalities; there is also an internationally-supervised Brcko District.

The country is home to three ethnic "constituent peoples": Bosniaks (48%) are the most numerous group, with Serbs (37%) second and Croats (14%) in third place (World Factbook). The population was estimated in July 2009 at 4 613 414, with a growth rate of 0.34 % (World Factbook). Languages are Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, all official and mutually understandable among the three ethnic groups. Croatian and Bosnian are written in the Latin alphabet: Serbian is written in both Latin and Cyrillic.

The national currency is the Euro-pegged Convertible Mark (KM), controlled by a currency board. According to Eurostat data, Bosnia and Herzegovinaxs GDP per capita stood at 30 per cent of the EU average in 2008.

Land resources
The total area of B&H is 51 000 km2, of which 50.3% is agricultural land (25 720 km2) and 48.3% under forest. Total arable land amounts to 15 850 km2 or 62%; in the Federation 7 650 km2 and in the Republika of Srpska 8 200 km2. Plough-land amounts to 10 180 km2 or 19.9% of the total land. There are about 0.59 hectares of agricultural land per capita, of which 0.36 hectares are fields and gardens.

Land quality classes are given in Table 1. The best quality land (classes I to III ) covers 14.0%,, class IV land covers 17.9%, class V 16.7%, class VI 31.83% and classes VII and VIII 19.4% (data according to a classification made by the Institute of Agropedology Sarajevo see Dugoročni Program Razvoja, 1986-2000).

Forty-five percent of agricultural land is hilly (300 -700 m), of medium quality and well suited to semi-intensive livestock production. Mountain areas (> 700 m.) account for a further 35 percent of agricultural land but high altitude, steep slopes and lower soil fertility limit the use of this land to grazing in spring and summer. Less than 20 percent of agricultural land (half of all arable) is suitable for intensive agriculture, mostly in lowland river valleys. The land base for agriculture is thus very limited in both quantity and quality. Natural water resources are more abundant, with many unpolluted rivers and readily accessible groundwater. Despite the abundance of water only about 10 000 ha (0.1 percent of arable land) was irrigated before the war, an area which could be increased significantly.

Table 1. Land quality classes in Bosnia and Herzegovina

LAND CLASS

hectares

percentage

I - III

717,600

14.04

IV

917,500

17.94

V

856,000

16.74

VI

1,627,400

31.83

VII - VIII

994,400

19.45

Total

5,112,900

100.00

Although the territory is mainly mountainous, little has been done to improve water and soil conditions in upland areas. Excessive deforestation, inappropriate conversion of grassland to arable and uncontrolled cultivation of sloping terrain are degrading the land even in the valleys and lowland regions. The large sums invested in the protection of flat areas (river course direction, embankments, outfall drains, pumping stations) remain ineffective if soil and water conservation measures, both of an agricultural engineering and technical nature, are not undertaken in the hilly-mountainous uplands. Such measures would contribute to revitalising the mountainous area and would provide better protection for the lowlands.

Land use: Agricultural production decreased enormously during the war. A large proportion of the means of production were destroyed, and more than 237 000 hectares were mined. Now the greater part of the agricultural land (Figure 2) is under meadow and pasture (56%), then comes ploughed fields (40%) and orchard and vineyards (4%).

 

Figure 2. The Structure of Agricultural Land in Bosnia and Herzegovina
(in 000 ha, 2005)

However, agriculture is still one of the most important economic sectors in Bosnia and Herzegovina, providing food security for a significant part of the rural population. According to the Central Bank of B&H, agriculture accounted for 10.1% of GDP in 2007. But most farms are small scale family subsistence units delivering any surpluses to neighbours or local markets as shown by the data in Table 2. More than 66% of farms have less than three hectares. The average size of a household farm is about 3.0 hectares divided into 8 to 10 plots. Moreover, for better understanding of the land relationships, it is useful to have an insight into the ratio of different categories of land use per inhabitant in relation to altitude in the layout of the landscape of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Table 3).

Table 2. Indicators of land access and fragmentation

Farm size in ha

Number of farms

Percentage of total area

Up to 1

180,673

33.93

1 - 3

178,138

33.45

3 - 5

86,272

16.20

5 - 8

56,115

10.54

8 -10

16,661

3.13

More than 10

14,669

2.75

Total

532,528

100.00

Source: Statistics Bulletin (1983)


Table 3. Different categories of land use per inhabitant

Ratio of land use

 

Height above sea level

Category

ha/capita*

Metres

Percentage

Ploughed fields and gardens

0.23

0 -200

14.2

Total arable

0.36

200 - 500

29.0

Total agricultural land

0.59

500 - 1,000

32.1

   

1,000 - 1,500

20.8

   

1,500 - 2,000

3.8

   

Over 2,000

0.1

*Precise population data are still lacking. Current estimates of total population range from 3.6 million (World Bank), to 3.7 million (Reconstruction and Return Task Force - RRTF).

The largest part of the arable land is under cereals (Table 4); maize is most important. Forage production (although there are no data in Table 4) is in second and vegetables in third place. Roughly, forage is produced on 30 % of arable area (clovers, alfalfa, grass-legume mixtures and maize for silage) and on 1 400 000 ha of permanent grasslands which are mostly in hilly and mountainous areas [FAOSTAT estimate for the area of permanent meadows and pastures is approximately 1 030 000 to 1 057 000 ha. in the period 2000 to 2007].

Table 4. Area, production and yield trends in crop production B&H (2000-2007)

 

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Crop area (000 ha)

               

Cereals

365

365

342

315

324

317

312

310

Oilseeds

5

4

4

5

4

6

8

7

Pulses

14

15

14

14

14

14

14

14

Roots and tubers

44

45

43

43

43

41

41

41

Vegetables

125

126

127

138

139

139

139

136

Production(000 t)

             

Cereals

930

1,138

1,307

793

1,439

1,350

1,341

1,000

Oilseeds

1

2

2

1

2

3

3

3

Pulses

12

18

22

18

25

25

27

21

Roots and tubers

286

397

404

302

447

458

410

387

Vegetables

673

730

734

715

783

765

803

759

Source: FAOSTAT 2009

In general agricultural technology is outdated. During the last ten years, there has not been sufficient investment for modernisation in state enterprises; private firms lack financial resources as well as know-how to modernize. Product prices have been quite stable since the Convertible Mark (KM) was introduced in 1997.
Statistical data are rarely complete nor totally reliable with the country's unstable recent history. Unfortunately there are no official time series data showing consumption. Data in this section originate from FAOSTAT database, the Chamber of Commerce, the National Agency for Statistics and the Central Bank, considered the best available sources at this stage.
In official statistics, data for B&H are often presented by the two entities: the Federation of -Bosnia and Herzegovina (FB&H) and the Republika Srpska (RS). In December 2007, for the first time, an Annual Agricultural Report (for 2007) was issued, prepared by Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations (MoFTER), Sector for Agriculture, Food, Forestry and Rural Development with data regarding all B&H. Agriculture, hunting and forestry contribute around 7% to the Gross Domestic Product in FB&H and 17% in RS. Agricultural households also play a considerable social buffer role providing food security for family members in both rural and urban areas.
The role of agriculture is therefore more important than recorded in official statistics; it plays an important role in the hidden economy, which comprises about 40% of GDP (Bojnec, 2005). The role of the hidden economy is usually greater in less-developed transition economies than in functioning market economies (Lacko, 2000). However, the agricultural share in GDP, as shown in Figure 3, is decreasing, having fallen from 13 per cent in 1999 to 8.65 per cent in 2006.


Figure 3. Agriculture share in GDP (1997-2005)

The difference between the two entities is significant. In the Republika Srpska, which has the most productive agriculture, agriculture contributes a larger share than in B&H.

In B&H there are 2 725 000 registered working age persons, of which 1 170 946 are economically active. 662 475 people were officially registered as being employed in 2006, the remainder (508 471) is considered unemployed (43.9% of total labour force in 2006). According to official statistics available, the share of the agri-food sector (agricultural production, food processing) accounted for 8.7% of GDP in 2006 and share of the agri-food sector in total recorded employment for the whole country in 2006 is about 7.4% (47 000 people with 23 000 in primary agriculture). In fact most people active in agriculture do not register as being employed in the sector. Consequently the share of agriculture in total employment is reported at below 4%. Having in mind an estimated number of agricultural holdings of about 540 000 (with an estimated 159 000 units above 5 ha) proves the significant undervaluation of the importance of agriculture in employment. As there is no recent population census it is impossible to quantify any exact data for real agricultural employment. Anyhow it seems reasonable to estimate that at least half of those people officially counted as unemployed are working in agriculture, so the World Bank estimate of 18% share in employment may still be an underestimate.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a net importer of food. Almost all food products are imported, above all wheat, meat products, dairy products and fruit juices. This is not a new situation since the farming sector was not able to satisfy domestic demand before the conflict. However, the trade deficit in agricultural and food products has grown. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a small open economy. In South Eastern Europe only it and Bulgaria have a trade value higher than GDP. Tariff protection is lower than all neighbouring countries. The simple average of ad valorem duties applied in 2001 was 6.0 per cent for all goods, including 4.8 per cent for agriculture and 6.2 per cent for non-agricultural products (WTO, 2006). It is an exception to the usual trend when countries protect agriculture with higher tariffs than the non-agricultural sectors. This re-emphasizes the need to increase the competitiveness of the country's agriculture.

The trade deficit is larger (relatively) in the agricultural sector than for total trade. In 2005 about 18 per cent of total import consisted of agricultural and food products, whereas the share of exports was 6 per cent. The coverage of exports/imports in per cent is 11.7 for agricultural and food products compared to 34.5 for total trade.

At present, institutional capacity at state-level to harmonize, coordinate and monitor agriculture and forestry policies, legislation and rural development programs is almost non-existent. A draft Law on Agriculture, Food and Rural Development has been prepared by MoFTER, with technical support from the EU, involving working groups from the two entities and Brcko district, and the Law was adopted by Parliamentary Assembly of B&H in June 2008 (Law on Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Official Gazette B&H 50/08).


2. SOILS AND TOPOGRAPHY

Topography
The country is largely made up of mountainous highlands in the south and the west, hilly lands in the centre and the north, and flat to undulating plains in the northeast, where most of the fertile agricultural lands are situated.
Physiographically B&H can be divided as follows:

  • Plains or lowland areas (up to 300 metres), 11.3%;
  • Hilly area (300-500 metres), and Hilly-Mountainous area (500-700 metres), 26.3%;
  • Mountainous area (above 700 metres), Mediterranean-Mountainous area (700-500 metres above sea level), 57.2%;
  • Mediterranean area (below 500 metres above sea level), 5.2%.

Figure 4. Main Zones of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Soils
The Basic Soil Map (BSM) Project was established in 1964 at the scale of 1:50,000 and was implemented by the Agropedology Institute from Sarajevo and the first Manual for field soil investigation published. The BSM, developed on pedogenetic principles, lasted from 1966 to 1986, and was the largest pedological project in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Classification of soils is based on genetic-evolutionary principles, in which the type of soil was the basic unit of classification system. Map units included type, subtype, variety and even form. Morphological and lithological characteristics were the chief criteria. 1 176 mapping units have been identified on the soil map of B&H. The total number of printed sheets is 116.

The soil map of B&H at scale 1:50 000 dates from more than 20 years ago. Since then genetic-evolutionary classification has been through significant changes, which clearly can be seen from the terminology of the map units in the legend of the map.

There were two periods in development of the soil map, which differ from each other in inventory criteria, classification and methods. In the first period from 1963 to 1973, the national classification was based on genetic principles. In the second period 1973 to 1985, a new classification was adopted, which was influenced by international classifications, and this is readily apparent on soil maps made after 1973. In the second stage of mapping, application of modern methods were used such as telemetric research using aerial photography at various scales. At first, black and white photography was used, following by colour photography.

A very important task for soil scientists is to adapt the national classification to the FAO one, and to carry out adjustments to the database of the BSM of B&H. Bosnia and Herzegovina is very rich in soil types (see Figure 5) whose characteristics derive from its range of geology, morphology, climate conditions and other factors.

The lowland zone, in the northern part of B&H, is the most valuable land. There, the degree of development of primary food production is much higher than in the hilly-mountainous areas. The most common soils are: Stagnic Podzoluvisols, Fluvisols, Umbric Gleysols and Eutric Gleysols.

The hilly zone is more heterogeneous than the lowland zone in terms of soil. A considerable part has slopes above 13% and the processes of erosion are very marked and are exacerbated by inappropriate ways of farming, lack of water and soil conservation measures and preference for row-crops (maize and potato) on such terrains. The commonest soil types are: Chromic Luvisols, Eutric Cambisols, Leptosols x Rendzic Leptosols and Vertisols.

In the mountain zone erosion processes are also present, although these lands are mostly covered by forests and grasslands. Among sown crops, rye, barley, oats and potato dominate. The commonest soil types are: Dystric Cambisols and Dystric Regosols, followed by Leptosols - Rendzic Leptosols and Regosols.

Figure 5. Soil Map of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Mediterranean zone, with its warmer climatic conditions, can grow a wide variety of crops and support intensive farming, so that as well as traditional arable crops, early vegetables are grown for local markets. Fruit-growing and vine-growing are also developed here. The commonest soil types are: Lithic Leptosols, Regosols, Leptosols - Rendzic Leptosols, Chromic Cambisols, Fluvisols in the river valleys, Umbric and Eutric Gleysols in the karst fields. In swamps, Histosols are often present which are important environmentally.
In summary the main characteristics of soils in Bosnia and Herzegovina are:

  • Acid soils occupy more than 1/3 of the land;
  • Humus content is low;
  • Content of the most important fertilizer nutrients is low;
  • Soils are generally shallow;
  • Excess water on about 14% of the territory;
  • Inadequate concern for improvement of fertility;
  • Individual land holdings are small and fragmented;
  • Erosion is a problem particularly on sloping land.

Land use change
The conflicts in the nineteen-nineties have had a major effect on land cover and land use in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The movement and displacement of people caused significant changes in population distribution and its pattern on the ground.
There was a large land use change during the war years 1992-1995 which is primarily reflected in the area of abandoned land and deforestation. Although before the war there was unused agricultural land because of migration of people from rural areas to towns and abroad, its amount greatly increased during the war. Economic considerations also contribute to the increase of abandoned land. State farms have significant areas of uncultivated land because they cannot sell produce profitably. Significant deforestation occurred mainly during and after the war. Large areas of forest were cut and wood used as firewood as well as a source of funding for the war.
At present, it is estimated that 3 000 hectares of agricultural land are permanently lost to other land uses annually; often the most fertile and accessible cropland, but there is no reliable record of these land use changes although the reliable and timely information on land cover and land use change is essential for sustainable land management. Given the limited availability of agricultural land, its effective is essential for sector development.


3. CLIMATE AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES

Climate
Bosnia and Herzegovina is equidistant from the Equator and the Pole, thus the climate is not dominated by a single type of weather. There are neither dry seasons nor harsh and long winters. It can be divided into three climatic regions with more or less sharp boundaries or moderate transition zones:

  • Northern region;
  • Hilly mountain region;
  • Southern region.

Temperature
Northern region, has a temperate continental climate and average temperature in January from -0.2oC to 2.0oC, in July 20oC to 22oC.

Hilly-mountains region, with variations of continental, high-mountainous and alpine climate, average temperatures in January from -0.3oC to -7.4 oC, in July 10.2 oC to 21.2 oC.

Southern region, with characteristics of Mediterranean climate, average temperatures in January being 2.3oC, in July 22.5oC to 25.7 oC, and precipitation of about 2 000 mm.

The varying climatic conditions offer wide possibilities for agricultural production, both in terms of crop choice and cultivation of land farming, fruit-growing, vine-growing, vegetable growing and forage crops and in terms of livestock production.

Hydrological cycle
About 38 719 km2 (75.7%) of the B&H territory drain via the Sava River to the Black Sea, and 12 410, (24.3%) drain via the River Neretva to the Adriatic Sea. The boundary between these catchments is obscured at the local level, especially in the south west, where rivers flow through karst areas.

The spatial variation of the hydrological cycle (Figure 6.) is very characteristic for B&H. For instance, the mean annual precipitation in the southern region is 2.5 times larger than in northern region, and twice that in the central region. In the south, the mostly Mediterranean type precipitation is between 1 500 and 2 000 mm of rain, potential evapotranspiration 900 mm, actual evapotranspiration 600 mm, potential water deficit or irrigation requirement 300 mm and potential outflow or surplus from 900 to 1 400 mm. It is interesting that the southern region has the most abundant precipitation, but also the highest water deficit, and highest water surplus in the absolute and relative sense.

The mean annual precipitation in central region of B&H is about 1,000 mm, potential evapotranspiration 650 mm, actual evapotranspiration 600 mm, potential water deficit or irrigation water requirement 50 mm and potential outflow or surplus 400 mm. This region has a much better water-balance than the southern region. In the northern region of B&H mean annual precipitation is about 800 mm, potential evapotranspiration 700 mm, actual evapotranspiration 600 mm, potential water deficit or irrigation water requirement is 100 mm and potential outflow or surplus 200 mm. This region, with its continental climate characteristics, is more similar to the central than to the southern region regarding the soil water cycle.

Figure 6. Scheme of spatial distribution of average annual precipitation (O), potential evapotranspiration (PET), surplus (V) and soil water deficits (M).
Agro-ecological zones (also see section 2, above)

The flat or lowlands zone is found in the northern part of B&H and represents the most valuable land resource. The degree of development of primary food production is much higher than in the hilly-mountainous areas and the most common soil types are: Stagnic Podzoluvisols, Fluvisols, Umbric Gleysols and Eutric Gleysols.

The hilly zone is more heterogeneous than the lowland zone in terms of soil. A considerable part of this zone has slopes above 13% and the processes of erosion are very marked and are exacerbated by inappropriate ways of farming, lack of water and soil conservation measures and preference being given to row crops (corn and potato) on such terrains. The most common types of soil are: Chromic Luvisols, Eutric Cambisols, Leptosols - Rendzic Leptosols and Vertisols.

In the mountain zone the erosion processes are present also, although these lands are mostly covered by forests and grasslands. The main sown crops are rye, barley, oats and potato and the most common types of soil are: Dystric Cambisols and Dystric Regosols, followed by Leptosols - Rendzic Leptosols and Regosols.

The Mediterranean zone, with its warmer climatic conditions, can grow a wide variety of crops and supports intensive farming, so that as well as traditional arable crops, early vegetables are also being cultivated for local markets. Fruit-growing and vine-growing are also developed here, so that this region is also called the region of southern crops. The most common types of soil are: Lithic Leptosols, Regosols, Leptosols - Rendzic Leptosols, Chromic Cambisols, Fluvisols in the river valleys, Umbric and Eutric Gleysols in the karst fields. In swamps Histosols are often present and these are environmentally important.


4. RUMINANT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

The share of livestock in total agricultural production is estimated at 50% which is much lower than it was and could be, considering natural preconditions for livestock production and the level of animal production before the war. There were 970,142 cattle in Bosnia and Herzegovina before the war; they were owned by the state in numerous state concerns and state farms. The breeding system, production and sale was established and organized by the state. After the war the number of cows was 218,406, and number in milk production 161,452.

After the first five years of the post-war livestock fund reconstruction during which the number of livestock was increasing very fast, 2001 and 2002 were characterized with a decrease in cattle numbers and modest increases of sheep, pig and chickens, and since 2003, all livestock categories are increasing except goats (Table 5).

Table 5. Livestock numbers and production (live weight) for period 2000-2008

Livestock/product

Units

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Cattle

000 head

462

440

410

440

453

460

515

468

460

Goats

000 head

98

101

86

81

72

73

76

70

70

Sheep/ewes

000 head

584

608

633

733

893

903

1004

1033

1031

Pigs

000 head

450

483

500

540

595

653

708

535

502

Chickens

000 head

9000

9700

10400

12000

8626

9540

12300

13800

14000

Cattle meat

000 tonnes

16

14

16

18

19

24

22

24

26

Milk

000 tonnes

544

525

518

537

601

649

683

747

737

Pig meat

000 tonnes

6

4

6

7

8

9

10

9

9

Poultry meat

000 tonnes

6

6

9

12

16

12

14

20

29

Sheep/goat meat

000 tonnes

1

1

1

2

2

2

2

2

2

Source FAOSTAT, 2009

Cattle and sheep
The predominant cattle breeds are Simmental, estimated as 80%, then Holstein- Friesian 10% and Brown Swiss 5%. Gatačko and Buxa, as domestic breeds, are few and small in proportion to the total. Dairy farming is predominantly in lowland and hilly areas with soils and climate suitable for higher yields of roughage. Beef rearing is rare, almost unknown as a specific type of farming as it is connected to dairy farming using male calves/cull cattle for fattening. Cattle are predominantly housed for all or most of the year, or now and then out of doors during the growing season (May-October).

Sheep are widely distributed, being most evident in hill and especially mountain areas where they are often the only, or the main, farm enterprises. Sheep are predominantly kept out of doors for all or most of the year, or housed in the winter when grazing is unavailable. In Bosnia it is still common practice for sheep to migrate from mountain to hilly or plain areas for grazing during winter.

Dairy farming
The importance of the sector lies in several facts: more than 80% of the country is suited to livestock production; there is an abundance of underused natural grassland; there is a tradition of livestock farming and livestock production is the most common agricultural activity and employs the majority of the rural population. In addition, there are lots of processing plants operating at very low capacity, which guarantees a safe distribution outlet for milk. Before the war (1992-1995), total annual production of milk in Bosnia and Herzegovina was around 875,000 tonnes.

The main characteristic of the pre-war primary dairy sector were: a dominant share of small producers (up to three heads); very low yields (1 400 litres per cow p.a.); low milk collection rate (12-15%); poor herd breed composition and no selection activities in the private sector; private producers were not included in incentive and supportive measures of the government; state owned farms had higher yields but they only produced 30% of the milk, so the majority of milk producers were left to themselves. War damage almost destroyed the sector completely. In 1991, the number of cows in -Bosnia and Herzegovina was 623,000 and average annual yield of 1 410 litres per cow. During the war the number of cows fell by 60%, and milk production by even more as the average milk yield also fell. Many farmers became refugees or were displaced so the number of farmers decreased. An estimated 80% of farm infrastructure suffered war damage and access to agricultural land suitable for livestock production was restricted due to the numerous minefields. Channels for milk distribution were disrupted and the majority of institutions specialized in supporting the dairy sector ceased activities.

The dairy sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been the subject of many studies and development programmes and projects as a priority agricultural sector. The Government emphasizes that the agriculture and dairy sector, are strategic and, although the level of regulation in the dairy sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina is far behind EU member states, it is still the most regulated agricultural sector in the country. Thus, in 2005, Republika Srpska (RS) allocated 26% (4.4 million) and Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FB&H) allocated 43% (3.5 million) of their total budgets for subsidies for the dairy sector.

Table 6. Number of cows and milk production in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2000-2007

Year

Number of cows (000)

Total milk production (mil. l)

Yield per cow p.a.

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

297

283

244

279

291

298

313

307

529

532

535

545

583

629

662

724

1 781

1 879

2 192

1 953

1 999

2 110

2 118

2 360

Source: Agency of Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Institute of Statistics of FB&H, Institute of Statistics of RS.

The trend in milk productions over the 2000-2007 in terms of cattle numbers, total milk production and yield per cow per annum is shown in Table 6 (where figures differ slightly from the FAO data in Table 5). Cattle numbers declined in 2001 and 2002, and have been slowly increasing since. The 2007 number of cows is only 53% of the pre war one. Milk production over 2000-2007 recorded constant growth and reached 724 million litres in 2007, which is 39% more than in 2000. It is encouraging that the increased milk production is the result of increased yield per cow which rose from 1  781 l in 2000 to 2 360 l in 2006, or 32%. Yield per cow in 2007 is 39% higher than pre period, thanks to improvement of the breed composition.

A farm register has not yet been set up in Bosnia and Herzegovina, so it is impossible to get reliable data on farm numbers and their structure. Average herd size was 2.32 head in 2007 (Table 7), which is far below for example Slovenia (6.6) and other EU countries. Small farms up to two head account for 48.5% of the total cow herd, and 95.5% of the herd is on farms up to 30 head. Even farms that are considered as medium or large for local conditions have few cows. Thus, average size of the farms that have 5-10 head is 6.72, for farms with 11-30 cows average is 16.64 head; 46.11 for those with 31-100 heads and 259 head for farms with more than 100 head. Only 3.1% of all cows are on farms with over 100 head. Such unfavourable structure with many very small farms has numerous consequences on performance at farm level. This structure also indicates low specialization in agricultural production as most dairy farms are not commercially specialised in milk production, but semi-subsistence farms in which milk is a source of certain and safe income.

Milk yield per cow per year in B&H has been recording a constant but very modest increase in the last decade. Average yield of 2 360 l per cow in 2007 is 50% higher than in 1996. Yield per cow is somewhat higher in Republika Srpska than in the Federation of B&H, but, in general, is very low and far below the yields in EU countries. There are many reasons for such poor productivity; first is poor animal nutrition. Grazing is rare due to small farm plots. Hay, as a main component of the diet, is often of poor quality. In winter hay is often combined with maize silage. Part of the diet is concentrate or energy feeds like corn. During the growing season animals are fed on green forage of legumes or grass-legume mixtures (temporary grasslands). Besides, there are poor herd breed composition and the poor level of technical and technological knowledge of the farmers. The number of market-oriented farmers who already achieve remarkable results is also increasing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, thanks, among others, to a number of development projects implemented by international organizations during the last decade.

Table 7. Size structure of the livestock farms in the Federation of B&H in 2007

 

Farms

Cows

Specification

No farms

% of total

Cum. %

Number

% of total

Cum . %

Average/farm

TOTAL

1-2 head

3-4 head

5-10 head

11-30 head

25,057

19,071

4,404

1,367

190

100.00

76.12

17.58

5.45

0.75

 

76.12

93.70

99.15

99.99

58,334

28,319

15,013

9,197

3,162

100.00

48.55

25.74

15.77

5.42

 

48.55

74.29

90.06

95.48

2,32

1.48

3.4

6.72

16.64

31-100 head

>100 head

18

7

0.07

0.03

99.97

100.00

830

1,813

1.42

3.10

96.9

100.00

46.11

259

Source: Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry

As far as delivery of milk to the dairies is concerned, significant progress has been recorded during 2000-2006. In 2000-2005, collection increased annually by 22%, and then slowed down in 2006, due to closing down of some dairies. In delivery of milk to the dairies FB&H contributed with 51%, RS with 47% and Brcko District with 2%. In 2006 180 million litres of milk were delivered to the dairies, which was 7% more than in the previous year and amounted to 27% of total milk production. Although this means that significant quantities of milk are still not sold to dairies but consumed or processed domestically or sold locally, milk collection is 71% higher in 2006 than pre-war. 31,414 farmers are included in milk collection and the average delivery per farmer in 2006 was 5,660 l (6,416 in FB&H and 5,020 in RS).

Consumption data are not recorded so it is difficult to provide data about dairy consumption, but taking into account production and import less export the consumption of all milk products is increasing gradually each year. In 2007 the consumption per capita of fluid milk was 43.5 kg, yoghurt 7.71 kg, cheese 3.14 kg, while butter consumption stagnated at 0.55 kg.; these levels are very low comparing to most EU countries.
Increase of production and consumption of milk and milk products follows the country's economic and social recovery. Milk production rose gradually on average at an annual rate around 6.5% during 2002-2007 but this is below the country's needs.

The official statistical office is still in the process of development so it is hard to obtain reliable data about sector economic performance. Total dairy industry sales and exports have been gradually increasing during 2004-2006. The increase rate of dairy sales was 34% in 2006 compared to 2004. The sector is not an important contributor to the GDP, but its contribution increased from 0.698% of GDP in 2004 to 0.777% in 2006. Sector output share in total industry output is changing slowly from 7.4% in 2004 to 7.9% in 2006. It means the sector is small but its performances are improving each year. More than 20% of dairy production is exported. The share of dairy products value in exports of agriculture and food products is gradually increasing over time and in 2007 it reached 23% of total agribusiness export. Compared to other food sectors dairy export performance is good and more importantly it has been improving over time.

Beef production
Beef production in Bosnia and Herzegovina is hardly organized as a specific type of farming, but there are a few fattening farms which buy young cattle from dairy farms. Animals are kept housed and fed green forage, hay or silage with addition of some grain or concentrate. Many small dairy farms keep male calves from 3 to 6 months and then sell them to slaughterhouses.

According to data from the Chamber of Foreign Trade, the meat sector is among the least as regards foreign exchange. In 2000, total meat imports amounted to 89.9 million, while the value of exports was only 8.24 millions. In 2006, the situation was even worse at, 127.12 million and 8.33 million respectively. Even with the current low average meat consumption per capita, estimated at 34.8 kg, Bosnia and Herzegovina is self-sufficient only in sheep and goat meat. The percentage self sufficiency is, according to expert estimations, much lower than officially reported due to illegal imports. According to official data, self-sufficiency in beef was 70% in 2006, while in the Mid-term Strategy of the Agricultural Sector in the Federation of Bosnia Herzegovina (FBH), the experts estimated self-sufficiency it at only 27%. Self-sufficiency is lower in FBH than in Republika Srpska, but official data do not include trade in illegal imports on the black market so they give the false picture that self-sufficiency is higher than it really is. But, although much lower than in the past, beef is still the single most common meat consumed contributing 35.5% in 2000 and 32.88% in 2006. Records indicate a slow but constant increase in the share provided by sheep and goat meat, rising from 9.3% in 2000 to 12.63% in 2006.

Opportunities for further sector development should be sought in very low self sufficiency. Gaining the trust of consumers in the quality of domestically produced meat should also be considered. Meat producers are not competitive on the market due to the lack of support, lack of efficient control of the border and the consequent large amounts of cheap black market meat, unstable and high prices of inputs, but also their weaknesses at farm level. These weaknesses are easily seen in poor production practices, low levels of technical knowledge, insufficient care of animal feeding and welfare and many other issues. These weaknesses result in low yields, high production costs, inefficiency and low competitiveness. Therefore, the main challenge will be to increase the efficiency of meat producers; underused capacity of many slaughterhouses and meat processing plants can accommodate all current and foreseen quantities of domestically produced meat.

Sheep and goats
Sheep rearing is a long term tradition in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There were round 2 000 000 sheep and 1 000 000 goats before the First World War; thereafter their number decreased especially during the recent war (1992-1995). Since 1996 sheep numbers are increasing but goats are in slow decline (Table 8). Sheep are widely distributed, being most evident in hill and especially mountain areas where they are often the only, or the main, farm enterprises.

Table 8. Number of live and slaughtered sheep; sheep milk production and number of goats in recent years

Specification

1996

2000

2005

2006

2007

2008

Sheep (head)

46 3000

58 400

902 731

1 004 696

1 033 264

1 030 510

Slaughtered (head)

64 000

93 000

102 941

107 880

103 242

94 679

Sheep milk (t)

11 600

16 000

18 800

20 600

21 126

18 774

Goat (head)

136 800

97 700

73 474

76 489

70 255

70 392

Source FAOSTAT 2009

Sheep farming is historically nomadic; it is still common practice that sheep are moved from mountain to hilly or plain areas for grazing in winter. Otherwise sheep are predominantly grazed out of doors. In future that nomadic system may be forbidden due to changes of arable land utilization, but also because of some sheep diseases. Sheep usually graze on low productive pastures getting also some salt. The number of sheep per flock varies from 50 to 200, rarely more.

Photo 1. Grazing Dubska pramenka on Vlasic mountain

The dominant sheep breed is Pramenka, a primitive breed adapted to harsh environments and feeding. Body weight of ewes is 25-55 and rams 35-80 kg, with meat ratio after slaughtering 40-50%. This breed is triple-purpose: meat, milk and wool. Depending on where they are developed they are known as follows: Dubska, Privorska, Kupreska, Stolacka and Podveleska. The most important and widespread is the Dubska breed, well known also Vlasicka, in central Bosnia on the Vlasić mountain (Photo 1).

Dubska Pramenka type
Kupreska Pramenka type
Privorska Pramenka type
Stolack Pramenka type
Photo 2. Pramenka sheep types
Click to view full picture

In the 1990s there were programs of improving the Pramenka (see Photo 2) breed by crossing with Wurttemberg, but this lapsed during the war.

Pramenka produce 70 to 100 litres of milk and 1.5 to 2 kg wool. Milk is used in the family or for making cheese. Famous cheeses include Vlasic cheese, Livno cheese (Photo 3), cheese from sack a fermented cheese (see Photo 3) made in a sheep skin or sack from sheep milk or mixed sheep and cow milk in Herzegovina, and special sheep cheeses. Nowadays efforts are being made to have these cheeses connected to their geographical origin for sale on the European market. 

Vlasic cheese
Livno cheese
Fermented (in a sheep skin or sack) cheese from Herzegovina
Photo 3. Vlasic and Livno cheeses (above) and fermented (sack) cheese (below)
Click to view full pictures

Goats do not have such economic importance as sheep. It is thought that goats are more suited to poor people; they are modest concerning food and accommodation but they can get milk and meat for a poor family. This could be the reason for more goats in 1996 (136 800 head) than in 2007 (70 255 head). Goat milk and meat is of a high quality and demand is increasing.

The main breed spread in Bosnia is the Balkanic goat which can be found in the hilly and mountain region, but now and then at lower altitude. It has good resistance to unfavourable environmental conditions and they are very modest concerning feeding. It can be coloured white, black and brown. Body weight ranges from 30 to 40 kg for female and 40 to 60 kg for males. Milk yield is around 130 l per year.


5. THE PASTURE RESOURCE

Livestock production is emphasised in all strategies, both in Republic Srpska and Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and forage production is given high importance. But just as the livestock sector has numerous difficulties so does forage production.

The main characteristic of pre-war ruminant production was a dominant share of small producers, up to three head; very low milk yields (1 400 litre per cow p.a.), poor breed composition and they were not included in the supportive measures of the government. They did not pay much attention to forage production and quality. State owned farms had better breeds and higher yields, but represented only 30% of milk production; they had better organized forage production, with higher yields of forage, usually of better quality. War damage almost destroyed the sector, and forage production shared the same destiny.

Table 9. Forage crops, meadows and pastures (000 ha) in Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

1988

2006

2007

2008

Forage crops

184

142

142

144

Meadows1

-

452

494

501

Pastures2

-

777

786

606

1Meadows occupy more productive areas of natural grassland and they are usually mown for hay.
2Pastures are less productive grassland, used as pastureland.

Data about forage crops on arable (Table 9) land indicate that, thirteen years later, there is less sown forage than before the war. However, it seems that forage yield per hectare is increasing. Perennial forage crops occupy the majority of arable land under this type of production. In recent years more attention is given to maize for silage, especially in lowland. Among perennials, by area clovers are more important than alfalfa although the latter is more productive. Soils in Bosnia and Herzegovina are more suitable for red clover or other perennial legumes. In the statistics for B&H clovers include bird's foot trefoil and sainfoin.

Table 10. Perennial forage production

Year

Total

Clover

Alfalfa

Grass-legume mixtures

ha

yield/ha

ha

yield/ha

ha

yield/ha

1988

164.68

82.70

2.8

43.73

3.4

38.25

2.6

2005

113.95

51.19

4.4

36.72

5.1

26.04

3.5

2006

118.92

51.75

4.3

38.14

4.7

29.04

3.5

Source: Data based on official statistics of both Republica Srpska and Federation of B&H.

Alibegovic-Grbic (1992) noted dry matter yield for alfalfa, clover and grass legume mixtures (Photos 4 and 5) as follows 3.36; 2.8 and 2.6 t ha1, respectively. These yields are a third or less of the potential of the most important perennial forages. It is encouraging that yields show an increasing trend and even higher yields can be expected with improving socio-economic conditions in the state.

Photo 4. Grass-Legume mixtures
Click to view full pictures

Photo 5. Grazing dairy cows on temporary grassland (grass-legume mixture)

Perhaps the greatest problem is poor forage quality due to late mowing; farmers mow perennial legumes at late flowering or even later, as well as grasses. Grass-legume mixtures (temporary grasslands) consist of many species of different maturities which makes for problems in defining time of mowing to get quality forage. These crops are used as green forage during the vegetation season; less often grazed and for haymaking. Silage making from perennials is not common in Bosnia, but lately more and more big bales can be seen.

Seed is another problem because most of it is now imported on the black market and through "holes" along the state border; the quality of imported seed is very questionable (variety, origin, disease status and so on). Domestic seed production is ruined due to the low price of imported seed and its production is now very limited. Farmers mention that they sow alfalfa in spring and by next spring it has disappeared. Formerly there was forage crop breeding, on a modest scale, producing Bosnian cultivars: BL- 422, Banjalučanka, Sonja, Biljana, Olimpik 84 (alfalfa); BL-17, Tera, Butmirka (Bird's foot trefoil); BL-4, BL Krajina (Cocksfoot); BL-B (Timothy) and Buki (Red fescue). Unfortunately, seed from domestic cultivars can only be found in very small quantities, or not at all. In the past -Bosnia was known as a seed exporter.

Grassland
Natural and semi-natural grasslands occupy more than half the agricultural land in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Statistics distinguish between meadows and pastures. Meadows are more productive and usually used for hay production; they are included in the cultivable area and comprise one third of all grassland (Table 9). Most meadows are in the lowland, lower hilly area, but can be found also on flat areas in mountains regions. Average yields range from 1.2 to 1.6 t ha1. Such low yield indicates poor management, especially poor fertilization. Fertilized meadows can give up to 11 t ha1 dry matter if mown at flowering, or up to 6 t ha1 dry matter and 950 kg protein if mown earlier (Alibegovic-Grbic et al., 2004). Pastures are low productive areas situated on shallow or rocky soils and if used, they are permanent grazed. Estimated yields ranged from 0.5 to 0.7 t ha1 hay.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is characterized by very different soil and climate conditions and that is why there are many different types of grassland (Photo 6). Usually they are rich in species but botanical composition varies from acid to calcareous, from wet to dry soils, deep to shallow. There has been much research on grassland associations and their botanical composition, especially after the Second World War, but the inventory is not yet complete. According to the literature and some recent inventories, Bosnia and Herzegovinian grassland include:

Phragmiteto-Magnocaricetea, wet grasslands can be found in Posvina, karst valleys, along rivers or lakes. Botanical composition of these grasslands includes the following species: Phragmites communis, Iris pseudacorus, Alisma plantago, Cicuta virosa, Oenanthe aquatica, Scirpus lacustris, Typha latifolia, Lysimachia vulgaris, Solanum dulcamara, Typha angustifolia, Myosotis palustris, Acorus calamus, Glyceria acquatica, Sium latifolium, Sparganium neglectum, Phalaris arundinacea, Veronica anagallis, Oenanthe fistulosa, Butomus umbellatus, Galium palustre, Carex riparia, Polygonum amphibium, Beckmannia eruciformis, Alisma plantago, Rorippa amphibia, Carex vulpina, Carex elata, Galium elongatum, Peucedanum palustre, Carex pseudocyperus, Carex gracilis, Senecio paludosa, Euphorbia palustris, Typhoides arundinacea, Poa palustris, Equisetum limosum, Gratiola officinalis, Lysimachia vulgaris, Cicuta virosa, Scirpus silvaticus, Juncus glaucus.

Molinio Arrhenatheretea grasslands are predominantly situated in lowland with fresh to wet soils, used as meadows or pastures. This type is the most productive. The botanical composition includes: Dactylis glomerata, Ranunculus acris, Holcus lanatus, Cerasitum caespitosum, Festuca pratensis, Vicia cracca, Colchicum autumnale, Alopecurus pratensis, Lathyrus pratensis, Cirsium oleraceum, Festuca rubra, Lychnis flos cuculi, Potentilla reptans Ranunculus repens, Bellis perennis, Carex nemorosa, Molinia coreulea, Arrhenatherum elatius, Deschampsia caespitosa, Phleum pratensis, Filipendula ulmaria, Scirpus silvaticus, Lotus uliginosus, Cardamine pratensis, Thalictrum lucidum, Sanguisorba officinalis, Lythrum salicaria, Thalictrum flavum, Valeriana officinalis, Angelica silvestris, Cirsium palustre, Succisa inflexa, Gratiola officinalis, Inula salicina, Centaurea jacea, Plantago lanceolata, Lysimachia nummularia, Poa trivialis, Peucedanum coriaceum ssp. Pospichalii, Trifolium pratense, Leotondon autumnalis, Lysimachia vulgaris, Bromus racemosus, Antoxanthum odoratum, Equisetum palustre, Leotondon hispidus, Festuca arundinacea, Prunella vulgaris, Alectrolophus maior, Briza media, Lolium perenne, Alectrolophus minor, Tragopogon orientalis, Cynosurus cristatus, Polygonum bistorta, Trifolium patens. Within this order, on areas with excessive water there are: Molinietum coeruleae Deschampsietum caespitosae, Cynosuretum cristati, Agrostideto-Cynosuretum cristati and Alopecureto-Festucetum pratensis, but also Arrhenatheretum elatioris, Violeto-Festucetum fallacies and Festuceto-Agrostidetum vulgaris on better soils.

Festuco-Brometea grasslands occupy more or less dry areas in hilly and mountain areas. As affected by many factors of climate and soil, these grasslands include a lot of grassland associations such as: Brometo-Plantaginetum mediae, Andropogonetum ischaemi, Danthonietum calycinae, Nardetum strictae, Agrostiodetum caninae, Potentillo aureae-Nardetum strictae, Seslerietum tenuifoliae, Caricetum laevis. Caricetum laevis-Helianthemum alpestre, Anthylleto-Seslerietum rigidae, Carex sempervirens- carex ferruginea, Festucetum pungentis, Hypochoereto Festucetum amethystinae, Seslerietum comosae-Gentiana punctata, Festucetum supinae, Festucetum Halleri- Geum montanum, Poetum violaceae, Potentilla aurea- Agrostis rupestris, Festucetum spadiceae, Festuca pseudoovina-Agrostis castellan, Danthonieto-Scorzoneretum villosae, Schorzonereto- Hypochoeretum masculatae. Within these, and also many other associations, the following species can be found: Festuca pseudovina, Bromus erectus, Koeleria pyramidata, Danthonia calycina, Molinia littoralis, Coronilla varia, Medicago minima, Orchis morio, Orchis ustulata, Orchis tridentata, Hippocrepis maculata, Scabiosa gramuntia, Centaurea angustifolia, Gentiana ciliata, Prunella laciniata, Spiranthes spiralis, Ophrys sphecodes, Linum flavum, Euphorbia verrucosa, Cirsium pannonicum. Plantago media, Globularia wilkommii, Linum viscosum, Stachys erecta, Carex humilis, Anthyllis vulneraria, Hippocrepis comosa, Salvia pratensis, Koeleria gracilis, Chrysanthemum leucanthemum, Sanguisorba minor, Anthericum ramosum, Asperula chinanchica, Potentilla opaca, Petroselinum oreoselinum, Trifolium montanum, Teucrium chamaedrys, Carum carvi, Trifolium alpestre, Medicago falcata, Medicago lupulina. Nardus stricta, Trisetum flavescens, Festuca ovina, Deschampsia flexuosa, Danthonia calycina, Sieglingia decumbens, Poa violacea, Festuca rubra, Carex pilulifera, Luzula campestris, Luzula multiflora, Genista sagittalis, Lotus corniculatus, Trifolium repens, Stachys officinalis, Geum montanum, Hieracium pilosella, Leotondon hastilis, Antennaria dioica, Achillea millefolium, Hypochoeris comosa, Potentilla aurea. Seseleria tenuifolia, Festuca Panćićiana, Carex laevis, Dryas octopetala, Edraianthus graminifolius, Pedicularis oederi, Oxytropis dinarica, Euphrasia salisburgensis, Silene acaulis f. balcanica, Dianthus pindicola, Aster alpinus f. dolomiticus, Saxifraga porophylla, Scabiosa silenifolia, Veronica saturoides, Gentiana clusii, Pedicularis verticillata, Leontopodium alpinum, Ranunculus hybridus, Androsace villosa, Anthyllis jacquinii, Arctostaphyllos uva ursi, Thesium parnassi, Silene saxifraga. Festuca pungens, Linum capitates, Scabies leucophylla, Scorzonera villosa, Silene sendteri, Helianthemum obscurum, Stachys jacquinii, Gentiana symphyandra, Chrysanthemum heterophyllum, Asperula longifolora. Thymus balcanicus, Calamintha alpina, Anthyllis alpestris, Crepis montana, Iberis sempervirens, Chrysanthemum montanum, Hypochoeris illyrica, Campanula glomerata, Minuratia verna, Dianthus croaticus, Pedicularis brachydonta, Lilium bosniacum, Nigritella nigra, Solidago alpestris, Gymnadenia conopea, Koeleria cristata, Gentiana tergestina, Globularia bellidifolia, Carex laevis, Scabiosa silenifolia, Onobrychis scardica, Campanula eliptica, Carex curvula, Luzula campestris, Luzula spicata, Genista depressa, Juncus trifidus, Deschampsia flexuosa, Festuca supina, Gentiana punctata, Antennaria dioica, Potentilla ternata, Geum montanum, Jasione orbiculata. Chrysopogon gryllus, Festuca valesiaca, Koeleria splendens, Plantago holosteum, Thesium divaricatum, Bupleurum veronense, Gentiana weldeniana, Medicago falcata, Prunella laciniata, Chrysanthemum liburnicum, Salvia pratensis, Linum tenuifolium, Linum gallicum, Hippocrepis comosa, Carex glauca, Sanguisorba muricata, Dianthus tergestinus, Plantago carinata, Genista silvestris, Centaurea rupestris, Teucrium montanum, Satureia subspicata, Satureia montana, Stipa mediterranea.

Mown meadow (Kupres)
Brometum, late mown
Grazed meadow (Glamoc)
Dry pasture (Sujica)
Photo 6. Various pasture types in Bosnia and Herzegovina

6. OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF PASTURE RESOURCES

Livestock production is stressed in all national strategies, with forage production of high importance in developing the sector; opportunities for improvement of pasture resources are considerable.

True meadows are still managed to produce hay which is cut in late June to July, sometimes later when plants are in the flowering stage or often at seed set. Pastures are used for continuous sheep grazing. Poor yields are followed by poor quality. All because, first of all the previous state of agriculture, but also poor breeds and small and fragmented farms. There was no need for better quality forage; anything was good enough for poor stock and neglected agriculture.

In recent years farms are improving, milk and meat production are rising and the number of market oriented farmers is increasing. There is reason to improve forage production and quality, both on arable land and grasslands.

Improvement of forage production on arable land may include:

  • Introducing suitable cultivars of forage legumes (alfalfa, red clover, bird's foot trefoil), and paying more attention to farming technology in order to produce more forage per unit area.
  • For better temporary grasslands, better choice of grass and legume species to suit soil conditions, persistence and maturity.
  • Improving forage quality, using the crops in bud stage or early flowering.
  • Stimulate seed production, because the local seeds guarantee safer production than imported seed of unsure origin.
  • More attention has to be paid to grazing, which is cheaper and healthier for animals.
  • Improving forage conservation, making more silage of better quality.
  • If needed there is more than enough arable land which could be used for forage production.
  • Education of farmers concerning forage management in order to get high yields of good forage quality, but also about animal needs.

Improvement of forage production on grasslands should include:

  • Bosnian grassland soils are poor and fertilization is needed as a first measure for improving forage yields per unit area.
  • Utilization of grasslands by permanent grazing or late mowing has to be changed. Introduction of rotational grazing and mowing in earlier stage of growth will lead to better botanical composition, better forage quality and better yields too.
  • Forage from grassland, if conserved, is poor quality hay; this is often left outside. That has to change also by making silage.

The big problem is lack of a joint state-level ministry of agriculture. Then there is an open market which makes domestic production uncompetitive. Insufficient budget for support measures is one of the traits for further development of the ruminant sector. Last but not least state support to agriculture is declared rather than real.


7. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONNEL

Organization and contact details

Key personnel/ contacts/e-mail

Research topic/responsibilities

Agricultural Institute Banjaluka

Knjaza Miloa. 17.

78000 Banjaluka

Tel: +387 51 303 112

+387 51 313 287

Fax: +387 51 312 792

Email: polj.institut.bl@blic.net

Web: www.poljinstbl.com

Dr.Svetko Vojin Email:vojin@blic.net

Zeljko Lakić Email:zeljko_lakic@inecco.net

Research and breeding of grass and legumes

Head of the Forage Department

Research and breeding of grass and legumes

University of Banjaluka, Faculty of Agriculture

Bulevar Vojvode Bagovica 1

78000 Banjaluka

Tel.+387 312 580

Fax: +387 321 393

Web: www.agrofabl.org

Prof. dr Djordje Gataric

Email:georgije09@teol.net

Tel.+387 51 330 954

Djurić Branko

Email: duric_branko@yahoo.com

Tel.+387 51 330 957

Education and research in the field of forage crops and grassland

 


Education and research in the field of ecology and grassland management

Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences University of Sarajevo,

Zmaja od Bosne 8.

7100 Sarajevo

Tel: +387 33 653 033

Email: +387 33 667 429

Web:www.ppf.unsa.ba

Prof. dr Senija Alibegovic-Grbic

Email:s.alibegovic-grbic@ppf.unsa.ba

Muamer Bezdrob

Email:

muamer_be@hotmail. com

Education in the field of grasslands, forage crop production, conservation and utilization and research work


8. REFERENCES

Alibegovic-Grbic, S. (1992) Proizvodnja krmnog bilja-viegodinje krmno bilje na oranicama. Zadrugar DD, Sarajevo. p 135.

Alibegovic-Grbic, S., Custovic, H. (2002) Some Measurement in Changing Botanical Composition and Increasing of Biodiversity on Grasslands. Grassland Science in Europe, volume 7: 754-755.

Alibegović-Grbić, S., Civic, H., Cengic, S., Muratovic, S. and Dzomba, E.(2004) Effects of weather conditions, stage of plants growth and application on forage yield and its quality of grasslands. Grassland Science in Europe, Volume 9: 897-899.

Alibegovic-Grbic, S., Eric, P., Vuckovic, S., Cupina, B., Dubljevic, R., Ivanovski, R. P., Prentovic, T., Gataric, Dj., Nedovic, B. (2005) Unapregjenje proizvodnje krme na prirodnim travnjacima. Sarajevo.Book, 176 p.

Alibegović-Grbic, S., Murtić, S., Bezdrob, M. (2007) Mountain Vlasic as a possible source of Plant Genetic Resources. V. Symposium of Agriculture, Veterinary, Forestry and Biotechnology. Vlaić.

Alibegovic-Grbic S., Bezdrob M. and Gataric Dj. (2005) Effect of low-rate N application and cutting frequency on botanical composition of short-term natural grassland. Grassland Science in Europe, Volume 10, 360-363.

Batinica D. (1977) Grasslands, Zadrugar, Sarajevo.

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Directorate for economic planning


9. Contacts

Senija Alibegovic-Grbic
Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences
University of Sarajevo,Zmaja od Bosne 8.
7100 -Sarajevo
Tel: +387 33 653 033
Email: +387 33 667 429
Web:www.ppf.unsa.ba

[The profile was drafted in the period September to December 2009 and edited by J.M. Suttie and S.G. Reynolds in December 2009]