BUGI: Western Balkans Urban Agriculture Initiative

Third Mission Projects; North Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa

KA2 Capacity building in the field of higher education; 2017-2020

In the countries of the Western Balkans, small family farming (BiH 48% and MN 30.5%) plays a considerable economic and social role in providing food security for family members. The level of vegetable consumption in agricultural households is high (32.2% potatoes, 25.8% onions, 20.1% beans), while the surplus is sold in open green markets using short food chains.

Although the percentage of municipal agricultural land is high (Sarajevo 35%, Podgorica 42.9%, Pec 51.83%), the concept of urban farms does not exist in the national registers. Therefore the urban planning, the UA strategies, the business models and revenue potential are unexplored. This emerging agricultural production has a high economic potential and requires a series of new skills that are more related to social skills (intercultural communication, social inclusion) and to the social role of agriculture (poverty reduction, quality of life) rather than with pure technology skill.

The BUGI project therefore plans to develop an interdisciplinary curriculum of master studies and a lifelong learning program in urban agriculture in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Kosovo with the help of EU partners co-financed by the EC Erasmus + KA2 program. The new curriculum will use ICT tools and the virtual knowledge community to improve modernization and ICT skills by promoting regional IIS cooperation in urban agriculture in Western Balkan countries. The results of the project will propose innovative approaches to agriculture, will have a positive impact on poverty reduction, self-employment, biodiversity, ecology and the carbon footprint of food, thus promoting sustainable development, urban resilience and green economy.