Agriculture and Rural Development

In the field of agriculture and rural development, Bosnia and Herzegovina must align with the EU acquis under Chapter 11, including Fishery under Chapter 13. Although much has been accomplished, there is still lots to be implemented in this sector in order to get Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) closer to the EU. As reported in the last European Commission’s Progress Report for BIH 2014, BiH still needs to adopt State-level laws on wine and on organic production as well as a countrywide rural development strategy.

The design of a State-level strategic plan for rural development and implementation of the harmonisation programme for agriculture, food and rural development did not advance. The administrative capacities and coordination structures within the sector policy, including support measures, remain to be strengthened. Regarding preparations for the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance for Rural Development, an agreement on institutional structures for decentralised management of IPA funds related to this policy area is still pending.

Improvements in productivity and competitiveness remain hampered by the lack of an efficient administration and effective rural credit schemes.

The adoption of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s agricultural information strategy is still pending. Preparations for an agricultural census are at an early stage. Improvements in agricultural statistics and the agricultural information system remain insufficient. There is still no harmonisation of land registration systems country wide, and land management remains to be strengthened. The lack of consolidated statistics hampers the development of agricultural policy.

Past and ongoing assistance (EU and other donors)

Under IPA I Programme Framework (2007-2013), Agriculture and Rural Development was particularly supported via IPA 2007, 2008 and 2009 sector support projects. Previously, the assistance was also provided via the CARDS programme. The EU IPA assistance supported already the capacity and institutional building in various policy fields, including preparations for the decentralised management of IPA funds, known as the Instrument for Pre-Accession Rural Development –  IPARD as well as for the establishment of Agriculture Information System. A pilot agricultural survey was performed, as a preparatory testing for expected agricultural census. There have also been a number of the EU funded IPA I Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) projects supporting various sector aspects in the context of the CBC programme priorities and objectives, raising competitiveness and growth as well as neighbourhood and regional cooperation and partnerships.

Other donors having been active in the sector are USAID, World Bank, Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Slovenia, etc.

Under IPA II Country Strategy Paper(2014-2017), this policy area is not included due to lack of preconditions met by the beneficiary  country, namely, a country wide sector strategy and the agreed IPARD system in place.  Future IPA II sector support will depend upon the country’s progress in responding to pending requirements.