On March 28, 2017 YPARD Kosovo in partnership with Career Development Centre of Prishtina University organized the event ‘Career and employment in agriculture sector’ to discuss the existing strategies for preparing students for employment in the agricultural sector in Kosovo.
The main purpose of the discussion was to help students develop their career plan, information exchange and networking between professional agronomists and students, demonstrate the skills needed to obtain jobs in the agricultural sector and also to inform students about YPARD and explain how they can benefit from it. The event’s keynote speech was ‘What strategies should be followed by young professionals to be employed in the agricultural sector in Kosovo. The discussion was monitored by Nol Krasniqi, a member of YPARD Kosovo’s working team. In the very beginning of the event, YPARD’s platform was presented to more than fifty students to whom we explained how they could benefit by YPARD.
The keynote speakers at the event were Mr. Armend Malazogu - a successful businessman and one of the most famous people in the agricultural sector of Kosovo, Mr. Fatmir Selimi from USAID was there to talk to students about USAID projects and how young professionals can benefit from them, Mrs. Lumta Dida - an agronomist who worked in many important institutions such as the Ministry of Agriculture and the Agriculture faculty at the University of Prishtina. Mr. Nazmi Zeqiri from Recura Agro Center was also there to advise students on what they should do to be successful as consultants.
The take-home messages
Mr. Armend Malazogu started his speech by saying the old proverb “Do As I Say, Not As I Did!”. After that, he continued sharing his mistakes while entering the agriculture sector and starting his famous juice brand Frutomania. He reminded us all about the difficult but worthy work in the agricultural sector by saying, “Is agriculture a beautiful job? Yes, it is; is it an easy one? No, it is not’ but is it worth it? Yes, it is! 100% as you always feel fulfilled at the end”. He advised the students that want to start their own company not to look to the internet for ideas but to observe the needs of their target clients and the surrounding environment.
Mr. Fatmir Selimi advised young professionals to have self-confidence and to be creative. You should have ideas on what you want to do. “You should have ideas which are innovative if you want to be supported by USAID” was the key message from Mr. Selimi’s speech that also encouraged the students to be self-employed and work on their own passion if it is possible. But if not and they eventually work for someone else, they should at least try to improve themselves as much as they can and become the best at what they do and so be indispensable.
Mrs. Lumta Dida explained to students how and why she decided to study agriculture and shared with them, all the sacrifices that she had to make for her career. She encouraged the students to evaluate every opportunity that comes their way, including abroad education as new points of view and experiences is a drive that can help to open new exciting doors in their career path.
”I started my business with just 1 egg’ Mr. Nazmi Zeqiri explained during his speech ‘it was hard but hardworking paid itself, it always does” Mr. Zeqiri explained to young professionals that to be successful you need to have the knowledge and/or volition to do your job’ he added “only with volition you can reach the knowledge required to do great things”.
After finishing the speeches, we had a short coffee break that we all used for networking, followed by a productive Q&A session.
A new kind of discussion in Kosovo for the youth in agriculture
This was the first event organized by YPARD Kosovo and probably it was the first discussion ever made of this kind in the country. Young people in Kosovo need orientation maybe more than anything else, as they need to know what skills are required for specific jobs in agriculture. While YP’s, especially in the agriculture sector, are dealing with unemployment problems, the private companies in Kosovo now prefer to employ foreign experts. Thus, what the youth in Kosovo must do is to raise their own expertise to meet the requirements of the fast-changing labor market and such discussions as this event are important to communicate and connect young professionals in the field and together tackle the obstacles that the agriculture sector is facing.
Giving a chance to the youth is the strategic way towards development in Kosovo’s agriculture.
Picture credit: Hana Voca, YPARD Kosovo country representative