Forty persons with disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro have received support for self-employment as beekeepers through an EU-funded project worth more than EUR 200,000. With a view to giving them the opportunity to start their own business and developing apiculture in the frontier areas between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, the persons with disabilities were given honey bee colonies and hives, which was the first prerequisite for starting the business. Also, a honey packing machine was donated to the beneficiaries in BiH in order to ensure the expansion of production in the future.
Prior to that, the persons with disabilities participating in the project had received training specifically tailored to their needs as well as additional technical assistance such as tutoring. Training organized during the project as well as technical literature for further education have helped the beneficiaries get more actively involved in the process of self-employment in beekeeping and thus get a chance for employment.
During the implementation of the project two clusters of honey producers – people with disabilities and their families – were established in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, one in each country with twenty members per cluster. The establishment of the clusters has opened up the possibility for better market positioning of honey producers and provided access to broader markets.
The final conference of the project “Persons with Disabilities – Leaders in Beekeeping” was held on 17 October 2019 in Berane to present the project results and their significance for the programme area.
The project “Persons with Disabilities – Leaders in Beekeeping” is worth EUR 245,388, with the European Union contributing 85 percent of the amount through its Cross-border Cooperation Programme Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro and partner organizations contributing the remaining 15%. The project is implemented by the Association “Naša inicijativa” from Podgorica with partner organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro: Association “Sunce” from Pale, Beekeepers Association “Uljanik” from Berane, and Beekeepers Association “Pale”.