Agricultural project in Fojnica
It is difficult to train in Bosnia where the unemployment rate is 50 %. It is a huge challenge to get a job because of the great corruption and exploitation of job-seekers. Some employers require up to a year’s salary as a starting price to grant a position of employment. Imagine: the employee pays the employer to get his job! To stand up to this injustice, to trust the neighbours and gain their confidence, is the objective of the agricultural project of Walter Koffler and his team. This project has been supported by PartnerAid for many years.
Together, over the past 19 years, they have been able to build a rational and well-mechanised farm in the style of Western Europe. With 15 hectares of rented land, a barn for 10 cows, a few heifers for rearing and bulls for fattening, they are now able to finance the farm’s budget to a large extent.
Many colleagues in the region can benefit from the modern farming know-how and farm machinery. Day-labourers find, sporadically, an opportunity to earn an income. Overall, the project is a jewel in the rather dull and short-sighted economic context.
As for visions: Walter Koffler’s team would not want to rest on its laurels. For some time, they have been wishing to implement a new idea. Next to their farm, a fairly large plot of land is for sale. It would be particularly suitable for establishing a craft centre where young people could be trained, in a kind of apprenticeship or “school of life”, in an appropriate occupation to prepare themselves for (professional) life. For this, we would need collaborators with faith in the future of Bosnia and with a variety of professional qualifications. Who could imagine investing in young people and participating practically in the construction of this innovation park?