For more than two decades, Nebojša Radović from Bratunac has been growing raspberries, and today his wife and three children help him out in the raspberry plantation. Raspberries bear special meaning for this family, bringing additional income important for daily life.
As one of the subcontractors of the company Herbos nature from Hrasnica, thanks to the assistance of the European Union, Nebojša received valuable equipment that will make the work in the raspberry plantation easier and more efficient for the whole family.
“This project means a great deal to us, it is beyond helpful. My wife is unemployed, and my regular job is not enough to cover all the living expenses. Our children go to school thanks to raspberries cultivation,” says Nebojša and proudly adds that one of them will graduate in July this year.
Nebojša is one of 54 subcontractors of Herbos nature, supported through the European Union-funded EU4AGRI project. Assistance in agricultural equipment, production and protection was critical to them.
“This project has been a major assistance to all of us cultivating raspberries. Earlier I had to pay for someone to process my raspberries, and now I no longer depend on anyone else. As I have my own tiller cultivator, my costs are lower and I can work on raspberries whenever I have time,” explains Nebojša.
Herbos nature is engaged in the purchase, processing and sale of berries, mushrooms and herbs. Today, it is one of the recognisable companies with a network of over 1000 subcontractors across the country.
Since its founding in 2006, the company Herbos nature follows strict standards in performance that ensure high quality production and end products. This business approach has been recognised by customers in Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, Poland, France and Serbia, where they have been exporting their products for years. Another testament to their successful work is also seen in the support they received through the EU4Agri project.
“The project has helped us expand our market. In addition to Ustikolina and Bratunac, we now have a new branch in Travnik. We hired several employees and started working with additional subcontractors,” says 23-year-old Maida Hadžiavdić, a lawyer at Herbos Nature.
Through the EU4AGRI project, this company has secured new equipment for its own needs and thus modernised different production processes.
“We are still a developing company and any assistance is welcome. We are happy to have participated in the project and thus contributed to the sustainability of the agricultural and food sector in BiH. The new equipment has improved production conditions and helped us meet the requirements of our customers,” says Maida.
Along with Maida, the company employs mostly young and trained professionals of various backgrounds, tasked to make sure that all work processes meet the highest quality standards. They hope that with their future efforts and dedicated work, they will continue developing this company that has found its place in the European market.
The EU4AGRI project is a four-year initiative (2020-2024) aimed at modernising the agri-food sector, creating new jobs, as well as retaining existing ones and supporting recovery from the COVID-19 crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The total value of the project, funded by the European Union, is 20.25 million euros, and it is jointly implemented and co-financed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in BiH and the Czech Development Agency (CzDA).