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YPARD Serbia - Creating market space for young farmers through partnership

YPARD Serbia has extended its list of partnerships by creating collaboration with the association “Probaj domaće” (Try homemade products) which promotes agricultural and traditional products and homemade drinks and food. They also give support to small scale producers, helping to make and easier way into the market by representing their products in all sorts of fairs and manifestations.

Recognizing that we share similar goals, YPARD Serbia decided to approach this idea, that association “Probaj domaće” wants to develop in Serbia and hence, have suggested two young producers which correspond to the association’s policy: Igor Stanković (38) and Damir Tolja (38).

Igor is a beekeeper who has more than 300 bee hives, producing not just honey, but all other bee products. He won many awards and golden medals for the quality of his products, and this year has even won a city award for his achievements in beekeeping. However he still had a problem with how to sell more of his products and make customers come to him.

Damir along with his family has moved from the capital to a smaller village. Now they produce all sorts of jams, dried tomatoes in olive oil, famous Serbian “ajvar” and every sort of food that can go in jars. They have even come up with a creative name for themselves “Rođaci sa sela” (Cousins from the village). Though the products they make are very interesting in the market, many are also sold on facebook or through friends. However, they think they can do much better.

Both Damir and Igor are very hardworking young farmers making life for their families on a village farm, but they just needed little push. Getting in touch with association “Probaj domaće” and creating a partnership with them, YPARD Serbia has helped these young farmers to make their way to a larger market.  

The first appearance of their products is expected to be in November at the “Sajam etno hrane i pića” (Ethno food and beverage fair) in Belgrade – capital city.

Finding a marketing approach is a critical problem for young farmers. When I asked “what’s the most important thing you need for your production?” very few young farmers provided, what we consider to be the obvious response such as: lack of money, subsides or even land or mechanization, they mostly answered better market access. YPARD Serbia is very happy to have helped these first young farmers by creating partnership with association “Probaj domaće” and look forward to having greater impact with young farmers throughout the country.

Picture credits: Julijana El Omari