Producers of early potato from Ljubuški joined under the brand Ljubuški rani, improved product quality and in 2018, for the first time Ljubuški rani found the way to the supermarkets in BiH. Association of producers and quality improvements were achieved with the assistance of the European Union and German Government.
Famous for its quality and early ripening, early potato from Ljubuški has recently become known as “Ljubuški rani” and it is available in the market in biodegradable crates of modern and unique design bearing the slogan “Sun, Stone and Red Soil”. The established visual identity displays the authenticity of the small-farms producers and highlights the features of its region of origin. Every crate carries the label with the producers’ contact details and their phytosanitary identification code, which enables traceability.
“Ljubuški rani” brand represents a kind of the quality assurance and the guarantee of availability of sufficient quantities, as an umbrella brand for 25 small farmers who have so far been selling in the market individually. This year, 35 tons of “Ljubuški rani” have been sold to the supermarkets in BiH at the prices 50-100% higher than in the previous season.
This is just one of the results achieved with the support of the EU and German Government to economic development in BiH through the EU ProLocal Programme.
In order to support a continuous improvement of the product quality and the production process, EU ProLocal has organized a comprehensive training for the introduction of good agricultural practices in the farming of early potato, which correspond to the requirements of GLOBALG.A.P standard.
Seven new early potato varieties were tested this season, and the production process was modernised in order to assist agricultural producers in BiH in following the trends and meeting market demands of the potato assortment. The grant funds awarded through EU ProLocal were spent on the procurement of six tractor tillers and five tractor atomizers, as well as portable soil testing equipment. The planning and monitoring of farming activities has been made much easier with information coming from the procured agro-meteorological station.
Watch the video “Story about the Ljubuški rani” that gives an insight in the results of the EU ProLocal Programme activities that helped “Ljubuški rani” to take the market position, which it deserves, based on its quality.
Recommendations for the future
The main preliminary design for establishment of the distribution centre for storing, sorting and packaging of potato has been developed, and the Ljubuški municipality has allocated a land plot for its construction in the Zvirići Business Zone.
The centre will become the main collection point for all early potato producers in this region, where the quality assurance control will be performed regularly and inadequate products will be returned to producers.
EU ProLocal has been helping the economic development for the last 3 years. The Programme is financed by the EU with nine and the German Government with four million Euro, and it is implemented by GIZ.