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RASP stands by its outstanding and continuous track record of previous and on-going projects as a solid foundation upon which to develop its services to help rural development, build democracy and civil society in mountain areas of the Balkans.
The project “Farm-Tour: Development of Agrotourism in Northern Albania and Eastern Montenegro”, financed by the European Union under the IPA Cross Border Cooperation Program Albania-Montenegro is currently being implemented by RASP, as the main applicant and the partner organizations from Montenegro, Regional Tourism Organization Bjelasica & Komovi.
This project’s concept of agrotourism is connected to rural areas and agriculture, including traditional practices of production, processing or usage of products. Therefore, the project is extended in areas, which are known for the development of farming activities such as in three communes of Albania, in Margegaj (Tropoje), Shishtavec (Kukes) and Fierza and in 2 communes in Montenegro, in Plave and Andrejevica.
New EU funded project starts
On July 2017 a new EU funded project has started. Balkan Med INNOVA is going to be implemented by a consortium of six organisations coming from 5 different Balkan countries.
The consortium is composed by:
• Technological Educational Institute of Epirus - Special Account for Research Funds - DCE - Greece
• Joint Innovation Centre of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Bulgaria
• Youth Entrepreneurial Service Foundation - FYROM
• Rural Association Support Programme - Albania
• Cyprus University of Technology - Cyprus
• VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTER OF THE REGIONAL UNIT OF LESVOS S.A.-Greece
The overall objective of BalkanMed INNOVA is to support both existing SMEs or potential new start-ups, through training, exchange of knowledge and expertise, technology transfer; their key-persons and entrepreneurs to acquire new skills, get acquaintance with business environment at partners’ countries. To create new business opportunities, establish and consolidate transnational networks at their business sectors and to adopt innovative practices (through education, training and mentoring). These objectives are directly correlated with the program objectives which is to support entrepreneurial learning and to improve SMEs entrepreneurial skills and competitiveness.
BalkanMED INNOVA aims to enrich the knowledge and capacity of young entrepreneurs and early stage researchers to overcome the gap of information, knowledge and specialized support and mentoring. BalkanMed INNOVA objectives aims to enhance entrepreneurial learning capacity, train SMEs’ staff to advanced technology and provide them with the required skills in the international competitive business environment. It focuses to to 4 economic areas of great strategic importance for the socio-economic development of the eligible countries 1.Tourism & Cultural Heritage (TCH); 2. Agribusiness (AGRI); 3. Information & Communication Technologies (ICT4SMEs) 4. Energy & Environment (EE). It also provides mentoring and coaching to possible entrepreneurs and includes the stimulation of entrepreneurial mindsets, encouragement and creation of innovative business start-ups, and generally foster the entrepreneurship culture.
BalkanMed INNOVA Project aims to create a unified Territory of knowledge from North Albania and FYROM to Cyprus and from Ionian Seat and Aegean Sea to Danube, where there will applied virtual based tools and novel approach for learning and vocational training of entrepreneurs, technology and knowledge transfer that will set-up the Web School. Beyond the joint training, it is expected that through the E-tutoring and peer mentoring consultations actions for start-ups young entrepreneurs will create their own new businesses by the end of the project.
On march 2017 RASP as part of the consortium has started implementing the project “Collaborative platform for ICT in Agricultural Extension in Western Balkan based on V4 best practices (AEWB-ICT)”.
This project is implemented with the support of Visegrad fund. Project areas are Hungary, Slovakia, Czech republic, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia.
The main objective of the project is to establish a collaboration platform among key stakeholders in the agri-food sector in V4 and WB for the purpose of creating the foundations for adoption of ICTs in AE in WB, based on the experience of the V4. Exploiting regional experience in the area of ICTs in AE enables faster synchronization of the agri-food industry among partner countries resulting in higher economic development in the region.
Transfer of knowledge and experience in using ICTs in AE
Transferring of already existing knowledge and experience in using ICTs in AE in V4 will enable faster and efficient adoption of these technologies in AE in WB and avoidance of unnecessary bottleneck in the process.
Gathering V4 experience in using ICTs in AE and understanding farmer's behavior in WB
Encountering the valuable experience in using ICTs in AE in V4 with good understanding of farmer's behavior in WB will enable creating the foundation for customized model for adoption of these technologies in WB
White paper disseminated to key stakeholders in the system of AE in WB and V4
The white paper consisted of the conclusions from the final event in the project has the purpose to guide each of the stakeholders (Governments, AE, ICT Companies, Farmers' organizations) to efficiently fit in the process of implementing ICTs in AE in WB
On June 2016 RASP start implementing Capacity development iniciative with four farmers groups in 3 different regions. These initiatives are being implemented with the support of SARED.
Capacity development initiative on Small Ruminants VC: Dried goat meat
This initiative is being implemented in Hasi region. In this initiative RASP is working with one farmers group in Cahan. and one with farmers group in Gjinaj, both in Hasi municipality.
The purpose of this initiative is to develop e new product (dried goat meat, based on local tradition
The situation was thoroughly analyzed and main objectives have been formulated. Those are
1. To build the capacity of farmers to improve the drying process and food safety for dried meat.
2. Improve processing infrastructure and guarantee the standardization of the product and quality control
3. Develop a promotional campaign for introducing goat dried meat in the market.
This capacity building initiative will continue for one and a half year, and will include, trainings of farmers on technological aspects of drying process, trainings on improving managing techniques, study visit, support on developing marketing and packaging etc. An important element will be involvement of women in all aspects of capacity building, going through very case tailored approach.
Capacity development iniciative on Small Ruminants VC: Increasing meat production from sheep
This initiative is being implemented in Elbasani region. In this initiative Rasp is working with farmers from Shtermen. Farmers group in Shtermen has two main products. One is lamb production and the other is sheep milk production.
The aim of project is increasing farmers income through improvement of farming techniques and intensification of meat production, applying intensive reproduction scheme “three lambings in two years”
The main objectives of this project are:
• To establish and jointly develop a perspective plan for the production and marketing of sheep meat (lambs).
• To increase Their technical capacity and improve their breeding techniques, nutrition and animal selection.
• To introduce new technology of hormonal treatment for intensive lamb production (two lambings per year in a part of the flock.
• Several farmers apply for SARED grants program to get support for investment and equipment to be included in the value chain (processing, marketing of meat and improving the technology of breeding animals)
Capacity building in the framework of Fruit trees and nuts VC: Dried fig
This initiative is being implemented in Berat region. In this initiative RASP is working with farmers of Roshnik, Roshnik I vogel, Mimias. Vojnik etc. There is a good tradition in producing and drying figs in this region. Almost of farmers have long experience in growing figs, as well as drying them
The main objectives of this project are:
• To build the capacity of farmers to improve the drying process and food safety
• Improve infrastructure to improve the standardization and quality control
• Develop a promotional campaign.
• To set up a business plan and sustainable trade channels
This capacity building initiative will continue for one and a half year, and will include, trainings of farmers in aspects of fig production, in technology for drying process, trainings on improving managing techniques, support on developing marketing and packaging etc.
Hasi goat meat Quality Label
RASP is currently implementing “Hasi goat meat Quality Label” in the framework of the BiodivBalkans project Conservation and valorization of biodiversity for sustainable rural development in the Balkan mountain.
The goal of the project is
”Promotion of origin-linked products as Hasi goat kids via quality sign system, in Hasi district, which are expected to generate a sustainable development of agriculture and preservation of the biodiversity”
Project Objectives are:
A. To establish Hasi Goat Breed Association, validate a selection scheme and recognize as legitimate by all breeders on the basis of a participatory diagnosis of existing breeding and selection practices and an assessment of the breed performances (milk – meat - breeders); to establish a Herd Book is in conformity with national standards and requirements.
B. To build GI/Red Label process around the Hasi Goat kid Meat through delimitation of the territory, specification of the product (Hasi Goat Kid Meat), selection of the most adapted label and registration of the product (as GI or Red Label), and establishment of a producer group, dissemination and publicity of the product.
The project has started in May 2014 and will be completed in December 2015
In the framework of this project it was realized the following promoting video clip:
AGROTURISM, A NEW DESTINATION!
The project aims at developing and promoting a sustainable tourism through the establishment of pilot agrotourism activities in the border areas of Northern Albania and Eastern Montenegro, based in the usage of natural and cultural resources and also in a large involvement of local government in this process. All the communes mentioned above will be involved as main partners in the project. A network of 20 pilot farms will be established in both sides of the border, in Albania and Montenegro, that will serve as a model for agrotourism, which stands on local tradition, cultural inheritance of each region in order to offer the visitors a unique tourism experience.
RASP implemented a program for the compilation of “Environment Management Plans in the framework of Promoting the Development of Sustainable Tourism” in the Commune of Shishtavec, in the region of Kukes and the Commune of Margegaj, in the region of Tropoja, financed by the Mountain Area Development Agency (MADA). The project implemented “The Code of Good Practice for involving the community”. This methodology has been widely applied by RASP in several projects of the organization. For this project RASP engaged several known experts in the field of forestry, biodiversity, tourism and economy.
RASP implemented the project “Strengthening the Role of the Community in Strategic Planning for Local Development” in the regions of Kukes and Has, a project financed by Balkan Trust for Democracy. It is an eight month project starting in January and ending in September 2012. Several local organizations in Kukes and Has were engaged in working with local communities to increase their awareness and engagement in strategic planning for local development. The local organizations involved in the project are “Progres” Center, “Alb-Aid” association, the Center of Counseling and Social Services for Women and the association "Integrimi". RASP in collaboration with TACSO Albania has carried out the training “Involvement of civil society and of the community in the decision making process” before the implementation of BTD project. A particular aspect of this project was the application of the Code of Good Practice on civil participation as e training methodology for involving the community. This methodology has been approved by the Conference of NGOs and welcomed by the Congress of Local and Regional European Authorities as well as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
RASP implemented the project “Development of Tourism and Environment Development Plans in the Communes of Petrele, Baldushk and Berzhite” in the framework of the Partnership for Innovation Fund of the Foundation ALCDF. The project was be carried out in cooperation with the communes involved and with the participation of various stakeholders, groups of interests and of the community.
RASP implemented a methodology, which turned out to be successful in previous projects such as in the project of Puka for the “Development of Puka Tourism Plan”.
The project's final purpose was achieved through the publication of the Tourism and Environment Development Plan for the Communes of Petrele, Baldushk, that identified historical, cultural and natural resources, priorities and concrete and detailed actions and interventions. The resources of the area were promoted through the publication of brochures and in the web pages of the Communes of Petrele, which was created for this purpose within the project timeline.
In the past years RASP has been implementing a program, which includes explorations in most remote areas to discover, identify and then promote local products as a very important part of cultural heritage and a very valuable resource for development of tourism and raise of incomes from this sector for local populations.
In the framework of the program for the identification and promotion of traditional food products in different areas of Albania RASP started this experience with the publication and promotion of the the “Catalogue of Traditional food products of Kukes region” in partnership with its local partner PROGRESS. This experience continued in other areas of Albania such as in the region of Korca. Concretely, RASP recently finished the implementation of the project “Identification and promotion of local food and gastronomy as an asset for development of tourist services and workforce in Korca Region” funded by Rritje Albania, USAID. This project served for the identification of traditional recipes of the Korca region, the publication of this tradition in a catalogue and promotion of these activities in order to improve tourism service and raise the capacity of the work force. A great number of stakeholders was involved in this project such from local governance, local businesses, students from the Professional Economic School of Korca and Pogradec etc. It was a very dynamic project due to its diverse participants, who came from different background and who brought with themselves a various range of experiences and perspectives.
RASP in partnership with PROGRESS center completed the implementation of the project "Identification and promotion of local agricultural, agro processed and gastronomic products of Kukes region" financed by small grants of "Kukes Region Cross Border Cooperation Programme" implemented by UNDP.
RASP, in collaboration with Kukes Farmers Federation, is implementing the project “Replacing Medicinal Chemicals Extracted from Wild Plants in Albania”. This project is funded by Environ Foundation
"Involvement of the community and civil society in strategic planning for local development on Environment and tourism sector in Kukes region" funded by BTD and local government. For implementation of this project RASP has established a very usefull coolaboration with "Kukes tourism and invironment development and promotion project" implemented by UNDP.
"Strengthening Rural Democracy" is a program implemented by RASP during the period 2005-2010 in Northern part of Albania (Puka, Kukes and Has)
“Raising community awareness on human trafficking” in Puke and Fushe Arres supported by British Embasy, have been completed last June.
“Community Enterprise & Development Project” in Butrinti National Park where RASP has implemented several activities to support agriculture development in partnership with Butrinti Foundation
- "Development of sustainable practices for production, collection and marketing of medicinal and aromatic herbs from Puka District"
- Meat production and processing with closed cycle
- Reducing rural poverty in the Puka region of northern Albania through diversification into beekeeping
- Strengthening of democratic beekeeper associations in Kosovo and Albania
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FAO TRAININGS FOR FARMERS| DATE 20,12, 2013
In the framework of The project “Capacity Development of Agricultural Technology Transfer Centres and Extension Services, for Rural Diversification Projects”, financed by FAO that is currently implemented by RASP, several trainings will be organized in Korca, Berat and Shkodra.
Titulli i Lajmit | Data 16,11, 2013
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