It is my pleasure to celebrate today a ten year partnership between USAID and the Embassy of Sweden. Our FARMA project has helped BiH farmers become more competitive and integrated with EU markets. We’ve helped them improve quality standards, increase exports and sales, create jobs in rural areas.
I congratulate the state Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, the Food Safety Agency, the state Veterinary Office, and the entity Ministers of Agriculture for the results they achieved through our joint cooperation. The Strategic Plan for Rural Development approved in 2018 opened BiH to new EU investment funds.
The array of producers here today shows the broad impact of our assistance.
· Poultry producers have gained access to EU markets
· beekeepers and herb producers are developing products targeting international markets.
· Dairy and cheese producers are winning prizes for their cow and goat cheese.
· fruit and vegetable producers have improved diversification and processing for a more sustainable business model.
Participating Companies and producers have:
· Made capital investments of close to 47 million KM in the last three years
· Employed over 800 new workers
· Increased their exports by over 50 percent
· Obtained over 450 new quality certificates to compete at the EU level.
I’m happy to accept Ambassador Stroemquist’s invitation today to use this wonderful produce in a dish representative of my country. I hope you will enjoy my Pulled Chicken Sliders with Honey BBQ sauce!