Ambassador Kirby Visits Regional Agriculture Education Center in Sombor

Ambassador Kirby Visits Regional Agriculture Education Center in Sombor
Ambassador Kirby talks to farmers at the Education Center in Sombor
USAID Serbia

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ambassador Michael D. Kirby visited the Regional Agriculture Education Center and Agriculture Extension Service’s crop-testing fields in Sombor today.  The Center was established in August, 2014 to help farmers acquire new skills and knowledge that increase productivity and product quality.  Producers will also learn how to introduce new crop varieties and apply modern farming technology.

During the visit, Ambassador Kirby invited farmers from the whole region to use this modern education facility, gain new knowledge, and practice what they learn.  “I trust that this Center, together with the newly furnished food testing laboratory in Subotica, will help farmers increase their domestic sales and exports, and add jobs in the region,” he concluded.

Mayor Saša Todorović said:  "Since its opening a month ago, lectures at the Education center have been organized almost daily. This is of great importance given that the municiplaity has over 8,000 agricultural holdings and that agricultural production ensures livelihood for more than 25,000 people, a quarter of the population of the city of Sombor."

The Regional Agriculture Education Center was launched in cooperation between the City of Sombor, which provided the facility; the Agriculture Extension Service, which financed the technical and construction works; and USAID, which provided $60,000 in support. 

Over 24,000 agricultural households from Sombor, Subotica, Kanjiža, and neighboring municipalities will have access to the Center’s services.  The Center employs 26 experts and has close to 100 hectares of experimental fields for testing new crops and pesticides.  It includes an amphitheatre and two smaller classrooms where international experts lecture on topics like challenges for start-up farms, biofuel developments, and post-harvest produce handling.

USAID Sustainable Local Development Project supports the Center through its economic program to develop agricultural in Vojvodina.  In Subotica, USAID provided the Institute of Public Health with modern equipment for testing agricultural products to improve the quality of food and facilitate obtaining export licenses.  In Kanjiža, USAID supports the establishment of a logistic and distribution center for agricultural goods.