FACT SHEET: Fostering Agricultural Markets Activity II (FARMA II) in Bosnia and Herzegovina

USAID-Sweden FARMA II Project beneficiaries who grow apples and produce award-winning cheese.
USAID-Sweden FARMA II Project beneficiaries who grow apples and produce award-winning cheese.
USAID-Sweden FARMA II Project

Project Snapshot
Total Funding:  $16.2 million ($8.1 USAID; $8.1 Sweden)
Project Duration:  January 2016 - January 2021
Implementing Partner:  Cardno Emerging Markets


he Challenge
Agriculture is an important contributor to the economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in many respects as it provides for 10 percent of the country’s exports, generates 8 percent of GDP and provides employment for about 20 percent of the national labor force (2015). In a country with persistently high unemployment (estimated at around 27 percent) and a high incidence of rural poverty, agriculture and food processing are critical elements for the livelihoods of many rural citizens. With its application for EU candidacy status, BiH made a critical step toward EU membership. To meet all of the requirements, agricultural and food production must increase its export competitiveness. The key to making the most out of the future membership will be how quickly and effectively BiH can reform the legislative and regulatory environment to comply with the requirements of EU accession. 

Our Vision
The FARMA II Project is confirmation of USAID and the Swedish government’s vision that local consumers can and should have confidence in buying BiH-produced food and agricultural goods that can also be exported to EU markets. This project will provide technical assistance and training to targeted subsectors aimed at improving the competitiveness of food and agricultural products by expanding environmentally sustainable production and processing, and enhancing the production of value-added food products. Success in these areas will contribute greatly to the inclusive economic growth in the agricultural sector and reduce rural poverty.

Implementation and Results
With staff based throughout the country, FARMA II will work with producer organizations and individual farmers to improve their yields and product quality. Training and technical assistance will specifically target women entrepreneurs and women-led agricultural producer organizations. By 2020, it is expected that at least 40 percent of FARMA’s beneficiaries will be women. Working with the government on drafting and implementing EU required legislation is another main pillar of the project. By improving the regulatory environment and harmonizing local legislation with EU requirements, FARMA II will strengthen the ability of the private sector to access EU markets, increase exports, increase farmer incomes, create jobs and ultimately reduce poverty. Goals for the project are ambitious, including working with nearly 60 percent of the agricultural sector, assisting them to increase sales by 65 percent and exports by 90 percent and generating more than 2,000 new jobs within the assisted value chains. FARMA II will further contribute to export competitiveness by working with at least 500 agricultural companies to help them implement EU standards and quality certifications.

For more information, please visit www.farmabih.ba/en.