Donji Zabar, a municipality in the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is proud to be known locally as the “eggs and poultry town.” Predrag Milicic, CEO of poultry egg producer, Agreks, shares that this community produces, “the highest number of eggs per capita in Europe.” He has high hopes for further developments in liberalization of the EU markets for the export of eggs from Bosnia and Herzegovina. In July 2019, eggs producers from BiH received some encouraging news from the Brussels regarding the inclusion to the list of accepted exporters to the EU.
Eggs for production and egg-based products from Bosnia and Herzegovina will be allowed for imports to the EU markets, which represents important step forward for the poultry sector. Milicic finds that Sweden/USAID FARMA II contributed to the much needed support in networking of the producers and important steps that both public and private stakeholders made towards achieving latest results.
“I was really glad to see that with the Sweden/USAID FARMA II project showed open willingness to help our sector. We have made progress together. It is extremely important that you have partners and associates who truly strive to achieve goals that will bring economic prosperity. Through Poultry Producers Coordination Body we now bring together people who represent companies, talk in the language of argument and strive to realistic indicators. We are not critics, but the group which pro-actively advocates activities that are necessary for development, jobs creation and business development,” adds Milicic.
It may take a couple of months for this approval to be operational, but Nebojsa Rakic from the Association of the Poultry Producers of the Republika Srpska welcomed this decision. “Once again we have received confirmation that our poultry sector and production companies fulfill the EU standards and criteria. Exports of the eggs for production in the countries of the EU will encourage our producers. I am glad to see that benefit will come for the entire food industry,” says Rakic.
In cooperation with state and entity institutions, the Sweden/USAID FARMA II prepared both private and public sector through the ‘mock inspections’ and simulations at the facilities of the four leading eggs producers. In addition, FARMA II organized theoretical and practical trainings for the producers and farmers nationwide. Producers received assistance through the grant program, and technical assistance, with focus on the introduction of the HACCP system analysis and control of the hygienic safety in the production process. “I would like to point out that this success would not have come without joint activities and projects implemented by poultry producers, Sweden/USAID FARMA II, and public institutions,” concludes Rakic.
While producers are expecting further liberalization of the EU markets allowing exports of the eggs for direct consumption, Sweden/USAID FARMA II continues to provide technical assistance to prepare all interested producer organizations for exports to EU markets.