FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

New FAO–North Macedonia agreement for a more competitive, sustainable, and resilient rural economy


A new five-year cooperation agreement was signed today by FAO and the Republic of North Macedonia, with both parties committing to continue the joint efforts in achieving a more competitive and resilient rural economy fostering job creation and inclusive, green growth.

Priorities of FAO’s new Country Programming Framework for North Macedonia (2021–2025) are consistent with the priorities of the Government, the country's Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development 2021–2027, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2021–2025, with a view to facilitate food system transformation and progressive alignment of agriculture and the rural economy with European Union (EU) standards and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The accord was signed by Nabil Gangi, FAO Deputy Regional Representative, and Ljupco Nikolovski, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy of North Macedonia during their meeting today with FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu.

“This framework agreement is a continuation of the long-standing partnership between FAO and North Macedonia and our joint efforts to advance agricultural development, empower smallholders and family farms, and invest in a sustainable and food-secure future of Macedonian people,” said Nabil Gangi, FAO Deputy Regional Representative.

Agriculture is one of the key sectors of the Macedonian economy and a critical employer in rural areas, accounting for 12 percent of the gross domestic product and some 22 percent of total employment. Still, the sector’s development is hampered by many challenges, including, but not limited to, agricultural land fragmentation, limited access to productive assets (such as infrastructure, land, water, energy, knowledge, and financial services), weak value chains, and high vulnerability to climate change.

Having this in mind, FAO is ready to support North Macedonia in two main areas; building a stronger rural economy aligned with the EU standards, with focus on small farms and women farmers, and enhancing climate action, natural resources, and disaster risk management.

More specifically, FAO will support the Government of North Macedonia in formulating effective policies and enabling investments for rural transformation, improving agricultural land structures and land market mobility, modernizing production, strengthening value chains, and ensuring climate-smart, resilient agriculture.

Support to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy will continue to implement the ongoing land consolidation projects under the National Land Consolidation Programme and further scale up the programme at national level, as well as other land market instruments.

Through knowledge sharing and other means, FAO will help the Ministry and other relevant partners in formulating policy measures for improved advisory, veterinary, and phytosanitary services, as well as in the European Union approximation efforts in the areas of animal health management and food safety and quality, to meet the national needs and global challenges in the food value chain.

Under the second priority of the programme, FAO will support the country’s climate action efforts. This includes sustainable management of natural resources (land, water, forestry, and biodiversity), building climate resilience of agricultural production, and reducing disaster risks in agriculture. Boosting the climate resilience of smallholder farmers in many ways – including more efficient input use, high-quality data for decision-making, climate-smart agriculture, and expansion of irrigation systems – will be a key area in this regard.

“Achieving these results is only possible with a strong commitment from the government and support from resource partners, as well as FAO’s contribution through its Technical Cooperation Programme,” said Goran Stavrik, FAO Programme Officer. “The technical assistance provided through these projects is not only important to address the critical technical gaps of the government, but also to catalyse sustainable impacts and further investments to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals defined in the Country Programming Framework.”

North Macedonia relies on FAO’s global experience and know-how as an accredited entity to the Green Climate Fund, Adaptation Fund, and Global Environment Facility in accessing environmental climate finance to support the country's national climate change adaptation and mitigation priorities while also meeting the country's global climate commitments.

28 April 2022, Rome, Italy