FAO launches a new project to support local agricultural and rural development planning in selected cantons and municipalities
06 April 2022
Initiative aims at providing technical assistance to local authorities of target cantons and municipalities to prepare their Local Agriculture and Rural Development Plans and corresponding Action Plans.
Local communities are vital for creating lasting positive change in the country. Sound planning and strategizing at the local level results in more targeted public sector interventions and expenditures related to rural development and agriculture, and that leads to improved sustainable management of natural resources and better economic well-being of the rural communities in the long run. By facilitating local partnerships between public, civil and private sector stakeholders, the long-term potential of the rural areas can be unlocked.
Building on the lessons learnt and successful results of the past project which supported the preparation of Local Agriculture and Rural Development Plans and implementation of a pilot project in the Livno area (Canton 10) several years ago, FAO has launched the new initiative aimed at providing technical assistance to local authorities of target cantons and municipalities to prepare their Local Agriculture and Rural Development Plans and corresponding Action Plans. The project will be implemented in Una-Sana Canton and city of Bihac in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and municipalities of Gacko, Rogatica, Rudo, Visegrad, Osmaci, Foca and Zvornik in Republika Srpska – all of these local authorities have committed to developing and later adopting the Local Agriculture and Rural Development Plans following the guidance and support of FAO. The cornerstone of the process will be the formation of multi-stakeholder working groups, which with the technical support of FAO will prepare the Local Agriculture and Rural Development Plans and corresponding Action Plans. To ensure that the development process is participatory and the views and needs of all stakeholder groups, including rural youth, women and other vulnerable groups are reflected in the documents, the working groups will organize workshops and consultations with the local community members. Within the framework of this project to test how local communities can be mobilized, absorb funding and implement projects outlined in the drafted Actions Plans, a call for application will be issued for piloting funding of a few small-scale demonstration projects, corresponding with the strategic priorities defined by the communities in the Local Agriculture and Rural Development Plans.
To launch the project, FAO organized two inception workshops in Jahorina on 5 April and Bihac on 6 April. The workshops have been attended by high-profile participants, including Jelena Prorok, Expert Advisor of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Zoran Maletic, Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Republika Srpska; Sulejman Kulenović, Minister of Agriculture of Una Sana Canton; Rasima Bobic, Assistant Minister of Agriculture of Una Sana Canton; Šuhret Fazlić, Mayor of Bihac; Ognjen Milinković, Mayor of Gacko; deputy mayors, local coordinators, potential members of the local working groups, representatives of academia and civil society organizations, FAO experts from the Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia and FAO Country Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and others.
“There is important momentum coinciding with the launch of the FAO project - ‘Supporting local agricultural and rural development planning’, as Bosnia and Herzegovina is currently in the process of updating its Strategic Plan for Rural Development and defining its key priorities for the post-2021 time period. FAO is aspired for this project to become an important milestone in harmonizing rural development programmes and support measures across the country. The pronounced local ownership of the Rural Development Plans by local institutions will contribute to the long-term sustainability of the project results”.
Vlado Pijunovic, National Programme Coordinator, FAO Country Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina
“In the upcoming months the institutions from both the Una Sana Canton and the City of Bihac in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina will dedicate time and resources to developing Local Agriculture and Rural Development Plans and corresponding Action Plans with the support of the FAO experts. These Plans will be developed in the participatory and inclusive manner ensured through the organization of the community workshops. The development and adoption of the dedicated plans on rural development and agriculture will enable the more effective allocation of funding towards these priorities in the medium and long run.”
Šuhret Fazlić, Mayor of Bihac