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FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Bosnia and Herzegovina, FAO sign new cooperation agreement

More competitive small-scale farming and better livelihoods for rural people are central goals of the new cooperation agreement between FAO and the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Equally important are steps to confront climate change and manage natural resources more sustainably.

FAO’s Country Programming Framework for Bosnia and Herzegovina, signed here today, will guide FAO’s work in the country during the period from 2018 to 2021. It is designed to align with the country’s Strategic Plan for Rural Development 2018-2020, which focuses on requirements for membership in the European Union and the World Trade Organization.

The agreement – concluded with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina – is also aligned with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework concluded between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the United Nations.

Livelihoods and competitiveness
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s agriculture sector accounts for 19 percent of employment, and up to 5.6 percent of gross value added. Agricultural and food products account for 16.4 percent of total foreign imports, and about 10 percent of exports.

Yet, agricultural productivity is low. Challenges include fragmented land holdings that limit competitiveness, outdated production technology, and low productivity from the country’s predominant breeds of cattle and plant varieties.

Cooperation among policy makers, scientific research institutions, advisers and producers is limited. Institutional and administrative capacity, legal framework, and agriculture information systems are considered not yet adequate for European Union integration.

Subject to available financing, FAO will work with Bosnia and Herzegovina to strengthen the competitiveness of agriculture through knowledge transfer and by promoting innovation. Marketability of agrifood products will be addressed through improved quality and safety standards as well as veterinary and phytosanitary standards. Institutional capacity will be improved through data support services and training.


Marketability of agrifood products will be addressed with
improved quality and safety standards, as well as veterinary and
phytosanitary standards.


The agreement foresees developing rural tourism in the Livno area, and improving local knowledge and capacities for beekeeping and organic agriculture.

It also calls for a national gender assessment. As of 2017, some 154 000 workers were employed in the agricultural sector. Of these, about 40 percent were women.

“Women face additional challenges,” said Yuriko Shoji, FAO Deputy Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia, who signed the framework agreement on behalf of FAO. “Land is predominantly owned by men, which prevents women from gaining access to loans to improve their businesses. Rural women also have limited access to information, vocational training, agricultural inputs, and decision making.”

Climate change, natural resources
A second major element of the agreement covers sustainable management of natural resources, adapting agriculture to a changing climate, and mitigating climate change.

Over the past 100 years, average temperature in the country has increased by 0.8 degrees Celsius, in line with global trends. Dry periods, floods and soil erosion all are expected to increase in the coming years.

FAO will help with development of policies and practices for environmentally friendly agriculture and sustainable use of natural resources, and access to climate financing instruments such as the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility.

Developed in consultation with line Ministries, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Brcko District, development partners, UN agencies, civil society, academia and the private sector, the FAO Country Programming Framework matches national needs and priorities with the expertise, experience, and mandate of FAO.

3 October 2018, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

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