IFAD in Bosnia and Herzegovina
IFAD began operations in Bosnia in 1996 shortly after the conclusion of the Dayton peace accord. Since then IFAD has supported six projects in the country and provided a total of US$70.6 million in loans.
IFAD recognizes the uniqueness of the situation in Bosnia and the complexity of rural poor people's needs. Its assistance to Bosnia-Herzegovina has focused on supporting smallholder livestock production, which is the mainstay of the rural economy.
The first two interventions were a response to the need for emergency assistance in a country devastated by years of war. Both projects focused on the rapid distribution of livestock to poor, war-affected households in emergency packages of one cow or five sheep. They provided poor people with access to food and basic livelihoods. The third project develops a model of small-scale commercial livestock production with good income-earning potential that can be replicated throughout the country.
IFAD's strategy in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Now that the need for emergency assistance has diminished, IFAD's strategy in Bosnia is to provide long-term support for rural enterprises and help boost agricultural productivity. At government level, IFAD helps promote a suitable policy and institutional framework to support small agricultural and non-agricultural rural enterprises. At farm level, IFAD offers farmers access to rural finance, with loan packages that enable smallholder and subsistence farmers to purchase livestock. Because agricultural productivity is limited, IFAD also supports the wider rural economy, helping stimulate growth among agriculture-related and other rural businesses and providing alternatives to farming as sources of income. These might include bee-keeping, fish farming, processing farm products or agro-tourism.
IFAD's projects contribute to forging close links among farmers and processors and markets. There is growing evidence that improved market linkages can result in better prices for primary products and higher incomes for small farmers. Interventions also help strengthen the supply chain, ensuring that farmers have better access to related services such as animal breeders, veterinary services and financial services.