TİKA Supports Rural Production in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) built a Fruit and Vegetable Processing and Packaging Plant for women who return to their homeland in Ahmići Village in the municipality of Vitez in Central Bosnia Canton.
A juice production line with a capacity of 50 liters per hour was built in the headquarters of the Ahmicanke Women's Association, which was founded in Ahmići Village in 2006 by women who returned to their village after the war. Thanks to the equipment delivered to the association in addition to the juice production line, women are now able to sell their juice, pekmez, and marmalade under their own brand names and labels at natural product outlets in big cities.
Expressing her gratitude to Turkey for the project, Taiba Ahmić, President of the Ahmicanke Women's Association, stated that the project helped war-stricken women to engage in production and get back on their feet. Ahmić said they were happy about the opportunity provided to women to contribute to their family budget and the inclusion of the produce grown by women with great effort throughout the year in the economy without any loss.
The war that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995 forced some families to leave Ahmići Village, located in the municipality of Vitez in Central Bosnia Canton, as well as other regions. As a result, production decreased by 80%, and the unemployment rate increased significantly. Even though the country’s economy started to grow in the 2000s after the war ended, employment opportunities are still insufficient.
Enabling war-stricken women to support each other psychologically and socially through production, the Association has been carrying out activities for the economic and social empowerment of women through their inclusion in production since its establishment. The Association supports women financially by enabling them to engage in agricultural production and handicrafts, and contributes to their psychological health.
The fruits and vegetables grown by the members of the association were processed with limited resources, resulting in occasional losses of product or quality. As part of the project it implemented to solve this problem, TİKA built a fruit and vegetable processing and packaging plant to enable the processing of natural products safely and quickly without any loss of quality.