Horticulture Incubator Program Creates Jobs For Youth

Horticulture Incubator Program Creates Jobs For Youth
One of four greenhouses in Novi Becej to be managed and cultivated by unemployed youth
USAID Serbia

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NOVI BEČEJ – Ambassador Michael D. Kirby, State Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sport Nenad Borovčanin, Novi Bečej Mayor Saša Šućurović, president of the Kikinda municipal Assembly Aleksandra Majkić, and the Assistant Mayor of Zrenjanin Duško Radišić, ceremonially opened greenhouses today that have been built with support from the Youth Horticulture Incubator Program.

As part of this program, over 60 unemployed young people, interested in working in agriculture, received training on farm management and the cultivation of higher-value crops.  The top trainees were offered land, infrastructure, and mentor support to start their own agribusinesses in 31 greenhouses, located in Novi Bečej (4), Kikinda (12), and Zrenjanin (15).

Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Kirby noted that “the Youth Horticulture Incubator Program reduces the time and cost of establishing start-up farm businesses and helps youth find profitable jobs in agriculture.”  Equally important, the Program strengthens rural communities by encouraging youth employment in participants’ hometowns.  It was developed and implemented with approximately USD 150,000 of USAID assistance.

Although Novi Bečej, Kikinda, and Zrenjanin already have well-developed agriculture and food industries, they focus primarily on grains, which bring less revenue per hectare than vegetable  production.  Diversification aims to create a larger assortment of agricultural products, increase revenues (especially for smaller, individual producers), and encourage the start of new agricultural businesses.