The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development (MAFRD) plans to offer financial assistance for women entrepreneurs working in various agricultural sectors. Its Rural Development Program will offer financial assistance amounting to approximately €27 million in 2013.
Through this financial support, MAFRD aims to improve farms’ infrastructure, increase productivity, improve the quality of agricultural products, increase competitiveness among domestic producers, increase employment and income among farmers and rural populations and further the sustainable use of agricultural land. All Kosovar farmers in various agricultural sectors can benefit from this program, and women will be prioritized for support.
MAFRD has allocated €12 million in subsidies for wheat, corn, sunflowers, goats, cows and buffalo milk. The other €15 million has been allocated for investment grants for milk, meat, eggs, honey, vegetable, fruit, wine and herb production.
On 1 Mar., KWN’s member organization, Women’s Business Association “SHE-ERA” met with the Department of Agriculture in Gjakova to inform officials about the work of women entrepreneurs. SHE-ERA representatives presented business plans prepared by women from Gjakova and women’s requests for co-financing. Women’s initiatives have received support through the “Support for Women Entrepreneurs in Agriculture 2012-2015” project, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. The project is being implemented in four regions of Kosova: Gjakova, Gjilan, Mitrovica and Peja.
“Since rural women are always the last to receive information about government grant schemes, SHE-ERA requested that Directorate of Agriculture officials meet with women entrepreneurs, as project beneficiaries, to inform them about opportunities for grants and subsidies provided by the Ministry,” a SHE-ERA representative said.
During the aforementioned meeting, women received information about subsidies and financial assistance provided by MAFRD to Kosovar farmers and the criteria women must meet to apply.
Since MAFRD’s first grant round has closed, KWN members interested in applying should follow media and MAFRD’s website for future Calls for Applications. Women also can visit Departments of Agriculture within their municipalities for further information regarding application criteria. SHE-ERA staff can assist women entrepreneurs in agriculture in meeting the application criteria. For assistance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAFRD also plans to support farmers in agricultural mechanization. They have also announced support for investment in less developed rural areas, watering agricultural lands, agro-processing equipment, storage, marketing, and public-private projects identified by Local Action Groups.