Training on non-timber forest products in Kosovo
CNVP organized two trainings for Associations of Private Forest Owners (APFOs), producer groups and their women’s sections on 21 and 22 December 2017. Cooperating with trainers from the Initiative for Agricultural Development of Kosovo (IADK), the training sessions were part of the Strengthening Sustainable Private and Decentralized Forestry (SSPDF) project that is being implemented by CNVP Kosovo, funded by Sida.
Training was given on value chains for non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in Vushtri and Peja. It involved producer groups working within the municipal APFOs of Gjakovë/Đakovica, Junik, Istog/Istok, Shtërpcë/Štrpce, Podujevë/Podujevo, Kaçanik/Kačanik, Novobërdë/Novo Brdo and Peje. IADK's expert provided valuable practical information. The training aimed at strengthening women’s economic development in the area of NTFP.
In Vushtri, women's and youth groups learned about best practice regarding the collection, cultivation, drying, packing, processing and sale of forest products, including small forest fruits, as well as aromatic and medicinal herbs. In Peje, training was focused on forest fruits and cultivation methods, market preparation, irrigation and costs. Many questions were raised by the participants on the total value chain process, and the benefits arising from market access.
In Peje, the participants were divided into four groups which calculated the costs and benefits associated with cultivating and collecting forest fruits - chestnut, hazelnut, blueberry and nuts. The participants concluded that more work was required on market issues, institutional support, the issue of subsidies, and the certification of NTFPs.
The valuable training has come at a time when producer groups are both consolidating and increasing APFO membership as a result of the services provided to develop NTFPs. Areas for further development in supporting producer groups, women and youth concerned NTFP collection, production, subsidies, drying, processing, certification and quality control.