On 26th January 2017, Minister Dedić met with dr. Thomas Rojas, a USAID representative in BiH and Mr. Adrian Neal, director of USAID/Sweden FARMA II Project, to discuss the developments in agriculture in Bosnia and Herzegovina a way forward with regard to developing a country-level strategy on agricultural and rural development in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Mr. Neal stressed the importance and urgency of adopting the Strategy, calling on the decision makers to agree on and launch the process of development of the Strategy.
“As I have already pointed out before, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has never stood in the way of the European integration process of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the contrary, the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted a Decision appealing to the Council of Ministers of BiH to initiate the urgent adoption of a joint strategy of agricultural and rural development of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Minister Dedić at the meeting.
The meeting also discussed the need for the adoption of a set of food safety legislation at the national level in order to ensure smooth export of food and agricultural products from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The FARMA II representatives also pointed out that the Project would focus on providing strong support to improving investment climate, training and capacity building, producer association strengthening, while reminding that the Project funds are limited considering that the sector overall requires heavy investments.
Minister Dedić also added that the Budget of the Federation of BiH was also subject to heavy cuts and savings, rending the adoption of a country-level Strategy even more urgent given the fact that this would be the prerequisite to using the EU funds earmarked for agriculture.
The meeting concluded with a mutual pledge to continuing cooperation and partnership in joint efforts to improve the status of agriculture in the country.