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FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia
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Regional Initiatives

As economic reforms in the 1990s shifted land ownership into the hands of private smallholders, family farmers became the predominant source of agricultural production in the region. To address the absence of well-developed institutional support, FAO is implementing a Regional Initiative on Empowering Smallholders and Family Farms for Improved Rural Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction.

While international trade policy is usually implemented at the border, adherence to food safety and quality standards concerns national food safety systems as well as food safety and quality control at the enterprise level. This means that a supportive policy environment for modern agrifood trade encompasses not only border policies, but also policies and institutions at the national and enterprise level.

Stories from the field

Photo: ©FAO/Ezequiel Becerra

In order to market their agricultural produce abroad, countries must comply with stringent safety standards. Phytosanitary controls, as they are called, check for the presence of plant diseases and pests and are mandated by the World Trade Organization.

In addition to Belarus, workshop participants represent Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Photo: ©FAO

Scarcity of both land and water – and the degradation of those natural resources – are a big issue for Armenia. Conservation agriculture offers solutions, and FAO and the European Union are responding to this priority need.

Photo: ©EU Delegation to Serbia / Igor Pavicevic

The Petrovic family in Prnjavor near the town of Sabac have been growing raspberries for years. Jovan, his wife Gordana and their two sons Milan and Ivan – both college students – cultivate maize, soybean, wheat and clover on 2.5 hectares of their own and 6 hectares of leased land.