Kick off meeting in Prishtina held


With the kick off meeting held today at Emerald hotel in Prishtina, the Twinning project "Support to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development (MAFRD) in legislative and policy development and in implementing the Agricultural and Rural Development Program (ARDP)" was offically launched.

On 23 January 2012 an EU financed Twinning Project in the field of agriculture and rural development between public institutions from Austria, Germany and Hungary and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development in Kosovo formally started. The official Kick-off Meeting was held today at Hotel Emerald in the presence of Mr. Blerand STAVILECI, Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development (MAFRD), Mr. Christof STOCK, Acting Head of the European Union Office in Kosovo, Mr. Johann BRIEGER the Austrian Ambassador, the Embassy officials from Germany and Hungary and other high official representatives and experts from different national and international institutions involved in the agricultural sector.

The overall objective of this Twinning is to increase the contribution of the agriculture and rural development sector to economic development and growth in Kosovo. The project purpose is to help strengthen administrative structures within the MAFRD and civil society organisations as well as to formulate and implement the national agriculture and rural development programme in conformity with EU principles and standards.

To reach this objectives the project will involve numerous high qualified experts from the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Austrian Paying Agency Agrarmarkt Austria, the Austrian Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, the German Ministry for Economics and Science in Saarland, the University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf, the Hungarian Ministry of Rural Development as well as the Hungarian Research Institute of Agricultural Economics to support the counterparts here in Kosovo.

Thereby the focus will be laid on 5 main components: Mid-term Evaluation of the current Agriculture and Rural Development Program (ARDP) 2007-2013 and the preparation the ARDP 2014-2020, capability strengthening of socio-economic partners (civil society organisations, local action groups, agricultural producer organisations and other stakeholders) for the dialogue with the MAFRD in programming and implementing the ARDP 2014-2020, further strengthening of ARDP implementing structures like Managing Authority, Paying Unit, Advisory Service and Monitoring Committee, preparation of a framework for an Agricultural Information System (AIS) and the development of a comprehensive IT Master plan for MAFRD.

The project budget is € 2.2 million, whereof € 2.0 million are financed by the EU and € 0.2 by the Kosovo budget. The project duration is 24 months, from January 2012 to January 2014. More than 1,100 experts days will be implemented.

Contact person for further information:

Mr. Kapllan HALIMI, KS Project Leader, Tel.: +381 (0)38 211 834

Mr. Franz PATSCHKA, MS Project Leader, Tel.: +43 (0)664 231 44 49

From left to right: Melvin Osin, Deputy Head of Operation of EUOK
Alfred Hoffmann, German Junior Project Leader
Michaela Pichler, Austrian Resident Twinning Advisor
Illes Balint, Hungarian Junior Project Leader
Blerand Stavileci, Kosovo Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development
Shqipe Dema, Head of Department for Rural Development and Head of the Managing Authority
Istvan Sipos, representative of the Hungarian Emabassy to Kosovo