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BANJA LUKA, April 21, 2021- U.S. support for the dairy industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina has significantly boosted sales and exports in the last five years, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Nancy J. Eslick said today while visiting a dairy farm in Verići Village near Banja Luka.

The RS Association of Agricultural Producers —Dairy Farmers received a grant from the Sweden/USAID FARMA II project to purchase a modern hoof trimming stall that will serve more than 450 of its members. Cows require hoof trimming to keep up production and use of the new machine will enable association members to increase annual milk production by 5 percent, or 1.85 million liters.

“USAID has been supporting the development of agriculture in Bosnia and Herzegovina for almost 20 years to create more jobs, raise incomes, and increase exports,” Ms. Eslick said. “The hoof stall is just the U.S. government’s latest show of support to modernize the dairy sector in BiH to help it compete in domestic and international markets.”

The grant is one of the last to be awarded by FARMA II, which is slated to end in July. Since the project began, it has trained more than 2,500 dairy farmers, nearly 600 of them women, on how to better care for their livestock, increase production, and improve the quality of the milk they produce. FARMA II also provided 36 grants worth more than 2 million KM to modernize farms and dairy factories and introduce new products to the market.

Sales by supported dairy producers have increased by more than 70 percent, and exports have increased from 18.5 million KM to 52.6 million KM.  FARMA II also has helped create 160 new jobs in the dairy sector alone.

Ms. Eslick said that the USAID, which launched a new five-year development strategy earlier this year, is shifting away from the agriculture sector but that it will continue to cooperate with the EU to help them build on the achievements of USAID.