TİKA’s Kosovo Agricultural Development Program was a Success
The projects implemented by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) in Kosovo as part of the Agricultural Development Program have been successful.
TİKA continues to implement new projects in Kosovo. In last April, in Southern Kosovo, Prizren Municipality’s town of Recane, 100 families of the Bosniak community were provided with pregnant heifers and feed by TİKA under the Agricultural Development Program. During the project, which had the goal of increasing the animal meat production of family businesses and farmers unions with Simmental pregnant heifers that have high meat and milk yield, TİKA carried out monitoring and evaluations at family businesses.
TİKA Kosovo Coordinator Hasan Burak Ceran stated that the project aims to revitalize the livestock industry in the region, which has suitable climate conditions for agriculture and livestock yet is struggling due to the decreased number of families interested in livestock; to increase the number of animals in the region; and to support family economies through quality meat and milk production. According to the results of the latest monitoring and evaluation efforts, Coordinator Ceran expressed that after 8 months, the family businesses had 71 calves from 89 heifers, making the success rate of the project 80%.
“Thanks to Turkey, We Produce Now and Generate Income”
A resident in Recane region’s village of Lubizhda, 62-year old beneficiary Mehmet Xhaferi said that he used to work in the factory, which was closed after the war. He is unemployed and since he does not meet the retirement age criteria, livestock is his only source of income. “I have no other income”, said Xhaferi, “My only income is from the heifer given to me by TİKA. I want to thank TİKA very much. I also benefited from the distribution on April 17th and I am very happy with its yield.”
“The aid was one but it doubled,” Xhaferi continued, since his pregnant heifer gave birth to a calf, “I want to thank TİKA and all those who made it possible again. Thanks to this cow, we have fresh milk, cheese, dairy products at our home. We are a family of 9. Sometimes, when we have leftovers we sell them to those who demand.”
Village resident Nelim Bajra (63) said only a small portion of the population is interested in agriculture and livestock although the conditions in the region are suitable, and the overall economic status of the village is moderate to poor. Bajra stated that the pregnant heifers and feed provided by TİKA made a great contribution to the families, “This animal gives us a considerable amount of milk and we benefit greatly from that. A great advantage for us is that we no longer need to buy dairy products. We produce our own.”
Bajra expressed their gratitude to Turkey for all the support they received, “TİKA made many contributions for the development of this region. This is true for all regions in Kosovo, not just for our region. We expect and hope these aids to continue in the future as well. People of Kosovo support Turkey and such initiatives since these are for the benefit of the Kosovan people.”
59-year old Nezir Bajra, who is a mechanical engineer yet is not currently working at a factory, told that he is focused on agriculture and livestock now, “Earlier, I was engaged in livestock farming but my cows were stolen and so for a while, I stayed away from it. I really want to thank TİKA for providing us with this aid that arrived just in time. I want to increase the number of my cows. God willing, may these aids continue.”
Bajra pointed out that although the heifer was young, she had a high yield, “The milk yield is very good, we get around 15 liters of milk every day. I expect it to increase to 25 liters because this cow is still very young.” Bajra expressed that they view Turkey as a motherland and said, “These aids are very important for our people. They help the people to stand on their own feet and provide a promising future.”
TİKA Prevents Migrating out of the Region with “Production and Habitation on Site”
TİKA, which carries out livestock projects in Kosovo, especially in regions suffering from unemployment, in order to increase employment and prevent migration, supports milk producers in Mitrovica, Vucitrn and Pristina as part of its Agricultural Development Program to support dairy products and increase the quality of milk and its production.
Coordinator Hasan Burak Ceran reported that within the project that was carried out in cooperation with the municipalities, 275 milk producing families were each given milking machines; and a total of 960 units of 30-liter milk barrels were provided. Ceran stated that the goal of milking machines was to quickly milk animals without harming their health and carry the milk to milk collection centers in a sanitary manner using the barrels, “Therefore, the aim is to raise the milk production capacity and increase the income level of the families.”
Female Victims of the War Join Production
With the projects being implemented as part of the Agricultural Development Program, milk collection centers are also being supported by TİKA. Lesser Krusa Female Farmers Association, which was established in 2002 to provide material and moral support for the women, who lost their relatives in the war in 1999 as a result of the tragedies at Krusa Village, was assisted by TİKA.
In order to support the family economies of the women, who are financially struggling, and to integrate them back into the economy, TİKA provided the necessary equipment for milk processing, packaging and cheese production, and constructed an additional building to allow them to carry out their work in healthy conditions.
With the projects that are being implemented in Kosovo as part of the Agricultural Development Program, TİKA hopes to strengthen the social and humanitarian cooperation between communities and farmers, to boost employment through quality production and high income in rural areas, and to achieve permanent friendship and peace in Kosovo. To this end, after meetings with academics from the University of Pristina Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine and with Kosovo Ministry of Agriculture, with support from the scientist, TİKA prepares to start its “Program to Support Food and Life Security”, which is already implemented in the Balkans and Eastern European countries, in Kosovo as well.