The closing conference on 26th August 2011 in hotel Termag on Jahorina marked the end of the 2-year project „Strengthening of BiH Rural Development Programming Capacities”.
The Project was financed from EU IPA 2007 and it’s contribution was the development of a sustainable, competitive and dynamic agriculture, forestry and food sector in BiH, on state, entity and municipality levels to be achieved through the gradual strengthening of governance structures and fostering of harmonisation and approximation of the sector with the EU.
Johann Hesse, Head of Section for Economic Reform, Trade and Natural Resources at the Delegation of the European Union to BiH expressed expectation that the meeting would provide a feedback from all the attendees in terms of which documents produced by the Project Team will be used by all BiH ministries dealing with agriculture. He raised an issue of a comparison between the current BiH legislation and EU regulations now that BiH is considering to submit a membership application to the EU.
„IPARD, Instrument for Pre-acession Assistance for Rural Development, will contribute to the implementation of the legislation concerning the Common Agricultural Policy and sustainable adaptation of the agricultural sector and rural areas in the candidate country” said Hesse. A draft Vision for Rural Bosnia and Herzegovina followed by guidelines for practical strategic planning of rural development was worked out with broad participation of rural dwellers, public administration, non-governmental organisations and researchers. LEADER Local Action Group Support Team has been established and extensively trained with use of developed guidelines for rural initiatives.
Through implemented activities, the project raised awareness of rural community by direct participation and presentation of European concept of rural development with rural dwellers, agricultural advisers and farmers’ representatives.
„Unusual situation, unique people exceptional opportunities” is the shortest description of the environment in which the project team worked for the past two years’. This is a joint impression by the implementing team at the end of the project.