Education, employment and social policies
erasmus + Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training
: J.P. Makedonski sumi
: Macedonia as other Balkan countries are faced with the over exploitation of the natural resources and MAPs are on the on the list of the overused species. To overcome the problems of over exploitation of natural resources and to meet the increasing demand of herbal products, the emphasis should be on encouraging commercial cultivation of the potential species. MAPs cultivation can prevent overuse of natural resources but in the same time can be opportunity for small scale farmers to provide economic feasibility.
The overall objective of the proposed project is to promote cultivation of MAPs according to their economic, ecologic, and social importance. Through the planned interventions, especially the rural population would benefit from improved income opportunities by boosting human and social capital while preserving the existing natural resources.
The proposed project will be implemented in the three phases. Activities and expected results are defined for every project phase.
Phase 1 - Identification of most promising / interesting MAPs
• Inception workshop in Macedonia to involve stakeholders of the MAPs to share/socialize project objectives
• Preparation of Study about MAPs cultivation potential
• Study, Qualitative value chain survey, in English
Phase 2- Implementation of activities to enhance cultivation Activities:
• Assessment of different cultivation and processing experiences available in the two countries.
• Training for farmers and VET providers to learn production and post-harvest technologies (drying, preliminary packaging etc.)
• Farmers have increased their knowledge for cultivation and post harvesting technologies.
• Guides for Mediterranean and continental MAPs cultivation in 5 languages (EN, MK, AL, GR and BG)
Phase 3 Consolidation of activities and creation of awareness/market for key MAPs
• Development of Guides for farmers, collectors, and processors as important reference material for the different stages of the production-marketing process of key MAPs.
• Development of brochure about the project with key natural resources from the region, in English,
• Dissemination and elaboration of fact sheets for each of the prioritized crops, including agronomic data and quality assessment information, and make this information available to the wide public (including use of Internet)
• Final Event of Phase 3 of the Project: Big event with press conference to share the project’s achievements to a wide audience boosting interest and demand for the plants
• Different innovations in place: new products, new technologies, new institutions. Some of these innovations are shared between countries.
• Private sector actors have ownership about generated innovations and are in the position to make these innovations become successful in the near future.
• Guides for target group and project beneficiaries.
• Public awareness about the targeted MAPs.
The project’s approach is strongly market-oriented and strictly participatory. The methodological framework is provided by the Participatory Market Chain Approach or (PMCA), which is adapted to the specific context of this project. PMCA involves three phases of flexible duration, depending on how the process advances. Each phase has a specific objective, a set of activities and a closing event where results are presented to and discussed with a wider group of stakeholders.
The benefits from the realization of this project will be significant and long-term. The partners will share their knowledge and practices related to the cultivation of MAPs with PE “Macedonian forests” and farmers involved in the project who are the main beneficiary in the project. In addition the Macedonian agronomists involved in the project, future VET providers, will also gained knowledge about MAPs cultivation and partners’ experience in this filed. They will be future trainers in MAPs cultivation and will be obliged within the project to share gained knowledge with other farmers who will not participate in the trainings organized in Greece and Bulgaria.
In total 50 participants will be directly involved in the project, 10 - as lecturers and researchers, project coordinator, 10 - as actors in MAPs value chain and other 30 as VET learners. Indirectly through dissemination sessions additional 100 farmers will be trained in MAPs cultivation.
Thus the experience gained from this project can be further used by young or adult people from rural communities who are interested in starting their own business with the MAPs cultivation. This business can bring significant benefits for the farmers because it is income generating activity which offers employment opportunities due to huge market demand for these products. At last but not at least whole community and entire Balkan region can benefit from the preserved natural resources.