By Mirjana Ribic, agricultural engineer, from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
I graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture at the University in Banja Luka, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development. After completing undergraduate studies my goal was to continue with education and improve my knowledge, so I decided to take a Master in Rural Development. Currently I am on the second and final year of my master. Through these studies I want to disclose challenges hidden in rural development and the possibilities offered by local villages.
Accordingly, I took a master theme which is linked to the increasing popularity of village offers -rural tourism-. I believe that rural tourism, along with agricultural production, represents a crucial aspect of rural development. The reason I chose agriculture as my profession, comes from the great love for nature and all the memories that bind me to my childhood, when the village was far more developed and more valuable than it’s today. In that period of childhood I was surrounded by many natural resources which have inspired me to keep thinking about their significance for human health and nutrition.
However, the moment I actually found out agriculture would become my future profession, was when I got engaged for the first time on the private field of organic corn production. I had the chance to work for one year and for that period I felt the respect that we owe to agricultural production when results come, as it provides us with food and health.
Marketing as a way for local agriculture development
Besides formal education, my preoccupations are also marketing and management, especially the IT marketing field and online promotion via social media tools. I have already been engaged in several part-time jobs related to generating marketing campaigns and small researches in the agricultural field. Lately, my goal is to find ways for adequate promotion of agriculture through various researches in marketing as well as to improve the work conditions and overall results of local producers. I tend to draw on all the opportunities provided by the area of ??IT sector, which would certainly help the development of local agriculture.
Even though my main interest is agricultural production, promoting agriculture in my country and motivating young people, my peers, to return to farming and the countryside are my true passions. This is why I see YPARD as an innovative and positive example which could contribute to future communication between young farmers, which may cause an easier transfer of knowledge and information about innovations and trends in agriculture that can contribute to faster and better development of agriculture and agricultural markets.
Through engaging in agriculture I want to try develop a strategy, that would bring concrete results, through which I’d not only try to convey the opportunities offered to young farmers in my country but also to encourage communication between young farmers in my country and foreign young farmers. Moreover, I think that establishing a network of young graduate engineers for agriculture in Bosnia and Herzegovina would be very important and beneficial.
My main goal: Help develop the country where I was born
The motto that drives my current desires and ambitions is: “the beauty of dealing with agricultural production is when you turn around behind your back and see the good job you've done and how many good things you specially intended for the future’s welfare”. As the seed develops stage by stage and brings a beautiful plant and later on an even more beautiful yield, I hope that development of agriculture and farming in Bosnia will emulate this concept according to nature and indicate that everything we do, we have to do it step by step until final results.
At the moment, I am in front of my first challenge of agricultural production, which is production of garlic, within a project supported by USAID and GEA - Center for Research and Studies. I run production of high - yielding Serbian garlic, 'Bosut', in partnership with a friend from my faculty, Dijana Ilic, hoping to produce high quality garlic. Dijana and I also have a plan to implement several projects related to agricultural production and our careers. I am also proud of my previous practical experience in the field of agriculture which I performed within secondary school and university. These activities included organic production, as well as commercial production in greenhouses and in open fields.
Although there is a large number of young people who would like to get out of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I do not belong to this group. My main goal is to stay to build my career and help develop the country where I was born and where I will end my education.