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The Rahovec wine industry has made significant progress in manufacturing and exports to European Union countries. Bejtullah Haxhimurati, of Biopak Winery, says the company he represents exports about 80% of its production to foreign markets. “This was achieved thanks to our unremitting work and technology donations we received from the EU office in Kosovo,” Haxhimurati said.
Haxhimurati presented this data in a panel discussion held at the Rahovec Wine House, organized under the “Communication Support to the European Integration Process” project, funded by the EU Office in Kosovo, in cooperation with the Ministry of European Integration. However, he and other producers asked for more for local producers by Kosovo institutions.
The Mayor of Rahovec Municipality, Smajl Latifi, stated that despite the difficulties farmers face, he is proud of the results they have achieved. “We have found ways to export to foreign markets, products such as wine, brandy, grape products. We also export raw and processed vegetables, and the increasing exports and continuing reforms to create further facilities for our producers, certainly contributes to increasing the outputs of our producers. We are interested in more opportunities to achieve better involvement in the grant scheme of the Ministry of Agriculture and other partnerships with the Ministry of European Integration, as well as from the EU support fund in the Republic of Kosovo,” Latifi stated.
Meanwhile, Arton Osmani, agricultural projects manager at the EU office in Kosovo, asked from local winemakers to work together on improving infrastructure and meeting EU standards, in order to enter a market with more than 500 million consumers. “In the last 10 years, we have supported the private sector of Agriculture with grants. We plan to continue supporting the Rahovec region this year, because it is considered as a potential for further development, and the export market is more easily accessible compared to other products.”
According to Nuhi Nura, Head of Division for Agriculture, Forestry, Rural Development and Food Safety at the Ministry of European Integration, the negotiations with the European Commission for the implementation of the Stabilization Agreement have enabled local producers to export to the EU market without any customs tariff. “Since the entry into force of the SAA, Kosovo has abolished customs tariffs for 1,044 of 2,564 agricultural products from the EU. Thanks to EU concessions, Kosovo can export all agricultural products to EU countries with zero customs duties”, he said.