Thanks to the European Union, the City Market in Zenica boasts it brand new look, providing local producers of agricultural, food and other products with more favourable working conditions, as well as improved and safer service and a more pleasant setting for customers.

Whether you are in search for variety of fruits and vegetables, homemade cheeses, milk, meat and other healthy foods or, perhaps, on a lookout for a one-of-a-kind souvenir, look no further beyond the colourful City Market in the heart of Zenica.

For decades, the market in Zenica has carried products of small local producers from every corner of the city, even the most remote ones. Every morning they stack their stands with fresh products and welcome customers with a smile. At the end of the day, they hope that they have provided their fellow citizens with the highest quality products, so that customers keep coming back to them.

“The market in Zenica is the only place where small agricultural producers and producers of meat and meat products can market their products. All of them live in suburban settlements with land where they are engaged in agriculture or animal husbandry and trades,” noted the City of Zenica.

Despite the constant challenges they face in the fight for the competitiveness of agriculture, Zenica sellers and producers have been trying to maintain the offer on the market since 1974. Their efforts were recognised by the City authorities and the European Union, which supported the improvement of the infrastructure and fair capacities of the Zenica city market through the project “European Union Support for Agricultural Competitiveness and Rural Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina” (EU4AGRI). For the reconstruction of the city market, the European Union has provided more than BAM 230,000, with the co-financing of the City of Zenica in the amount of BAM 79,818, thus reaching an investment of BAM 311,514 for the Zenica market’s makeover.

The Green Market in Zenica is but one of many beneficiaries of the EU’s financial support for the improvement and development of rural/local market infrastructure. With EU grants in the total amount of BAM 1.5 million, makeovers and improvements are planned for markets in 12 cities across the country. The goal is to ensure better conditions for the placement of goods in markets, while respecting hygiene and sanitary requirements and the microbiological correctness of all products on sale.

During the project life, the City Market of Zenica was equipped with 115 new mobile stands for the sale of products and two new containers for the disposal of plant waste. The space additionally benefitted from 20 wooden fair booths and 21 refrigerated showcases available to sellers of dairy and meat products, as well as small producers with continuity in the sale of their products at fairs and exhibitions, as well as souvenir producers.

“Earlier, such booths were rented from commercial companies, which was expensive and impractical, and increased the costs of the tenants, while at the same time there was uncertainty in terms of the availability of stands when needed”, explained the Zenica City Administration.

Mobile fair booths will allow for a more frequent and cheaper organisation of street fairs at the market in Zenica, giving an opportunity to local producers of souvenirs and handicrafts to present and sell their products and, ultimately, leave their mark in improving the city’s image.

The great importance of this project is reflected in the fact that dozens of producers of domestic products were provided with important training in the field of sanitary minimums, food safety and HACCP standards, as well as training in proper product packaging to ensure ultimate safety of the food offered to citizens.

According to the Zenica City Administration, improvements in the market infrastructure contribute not only to the quality of the work of producers and a better offer, but also lower costs of the constant maintenance of the market and the consumption of electricity. Thus, as they say, today’s market in Zenica is more energy efficient, of better quality, more functional, and more advanced in terms of health and hygiene.

The producers are particularly pleased that people with disabilities now have access to their stands. The market area is equipped with tactile markings that make it easier for blind and partially sighted people to recognise where they are, anti-slip surfaces are installed on the access for persons with disabilities, while at the main entrance to the market offers a handrail for the elderly, weak and those with limited mobility.

Close to 50 producers who have improved their offer at new stands, dozens of small handicraft producers, but also all citizens of Zenica who have the opportunity to buy safe products whose perishability is reduced to a minimum, benefit directly from the improvement of the Zenica City Market.

Improving markets throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina through the EU4AGRI project will enable a better market infrastructure for hundreds of end users, which will in return strengthen local markets and improve agricultural and food production.

EU4AGRI is a four-year (2020-2024) European Union project worth 20.25 million Euros whose goal is to modernise the agricultural and food sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The project is implemented and co-financed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in BiH and the Czech Development Agency (CzDA).