MRR Project

USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture Project

Project Background

The five-year, $1.68 million, Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture project, implemented by Rural Development Network, began in April 2012. The project introduced pioneering steps to address climate change adaptation issues in the agricultural sector. The project focused on implementation of measures in the Mediterranean zone, including the Vardar region and parts of Strumica and Sveti Nikole, agriculturally rich areas that are most affected by climate change. The project is organized around two main components:

  • Adaptive agricultural practices related to climate change – including investments for testing and promotion of simple and cost effective field-level adaptive practices targeting small farmers; and
  • Public awareness and civil society capacity strengthening – a comprehensive public awareness and outreach program combined with a capacity strengthening program tailored to the needs of grass-roots civil society institutions.

Within Component I, the project has tested new adaptive measures and techniques for decreasing the negative effects of climate change in 6 project modules: orchards, vineyards, vegetables, soil loss, water saving, and livestock. The project established 28 demonstration plots and farms for testing different adaptive measures such as: installation of UV protective nets to reduce sunburn damage on crops; utilization of various mulching techniques; introduction of cover crops; water-saving irrigation technologies; introduction of drought-tolerant crops; soil conservation practices, and reduction of heat stress in livestock. The weather stations placed by the ACCA project, provide the scientific and farming community with important weather data from the most climate-change affected areas of Macedonia.

The results from the tested adaptive measures were developed in advisory packages which include 11 different brochures, two studies (one on agriculture adaptation to climate change in Macedonia and a study on the effects of climate change on the livestock sector) and five videos on climate change adaptation in orchards, vineyards, vegetables, soil and livestock losses.

The results obtained included:

  • elimination of damage from hail in open-field vegetable and table grape production, and no sunburn damage to leaves and fruits covered with ultra-violet (UV) nets;
  • 55% higher yield in pear orchards due to the use of UV nets, and an increase in the quality of peaches due to new pruning and thinning techniques;
  • 24% increase in milk production due to installing ventilation and fogging systems in the summer when heat depresses milk yield, and a 12% increase in daily milk yield in farms using a new climate change adaptive nutrition regime;
  • 92% reduction of sediment loss with the use of contour soil cultivation techniques compared to traditional downslope soil cultivation;
  • 89% reduction of soil loss in downslope terrains sowed with cover crops; and
  • 50% of water saved with use of ultra-low volume drip irrigation.

Within Component II, more than 2,650 farmers, local government representatives, agriculture extension agents, CSOs, journalists, and university students participated in in-door and on-site workshops, the Climate Change Caravan, and in a quiz-bowl type Climate Change Contest for students from all 10 agricultural secondary schools, increasing the public’s knowledge and awareness of the impact of climate change on the agricultural sector in Macedonia.

Five Local Action Groups (LAGs) (LAG Belasica-Ograzden, LAG Bojmija, LAG Plachkovica, LAG Bregalnica, and LAG Malesh-Pijanec) were established under the principles of the EU LEADER approach. Through capacity strengthening activities, these LAGs, as public-private partnerships, finalized five Local Development Strategies incorporating actions to improve stakeholders’ inclusion in the decision-making process regarding relevant community issues. These initiatives encompass 21 municipalities of the East and Southeast Planning region.

Moreover, ACCA established a formal partnership with the National Extension Agency NEA in order to build the capacity of Macedonia’s agricultural advisors, which will ensure sustainable dissemination of the project’s cutting-edge work.

ACCA also implemented a number of activities that included direct technical assistance to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy (MAFWE), civil society capacity building and LEADER activities in conjunction with the Regional Development Centers (RDC) in southeastern and eastern Macedonia. The project supported capacity building of the stakeholders from 21 municipalities from the Eastern and the Southeastern Planning Region, including the LEADER approach, which led to the development of five Local Action Group initiatives.

Raising Public Awareness about Lumpy Skin Disease in Dairy Cattle

Due to the emergence of Lumpy Skin disease in dairy cattle, the Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia, within the USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture project, started organizing workshops for educating all stakeholders about this disease which direct result of the changing climate. Considering the fact that the largest number of infected animals is registered in the East and Southeast Macedonia, on June 3rd, RDN held the first workshop of this kind in Strumica, gathering more than 60 livestock farmers and NEA advisors (National Extension Agency) from the region of Strumica, Novo Selo, Vasilevo, Bosilovo, Konche, Radovis and Berovo. Prof. Metodija Trajcev, PhD, from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food, explained the characteristics of Lumpy Skin disease, the symptoms for diagnosing the animals and the measures that should be taken to protect the animals in farms. Numerous questions were referred to the inspector Risto Ichkov from the Food and Veterinary Agency, who speaking from the aspect of government institutions, shared different preventive measures that are taken and informed the livestock farmers where to ask for vaccination of animals.

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Capacity Building Workshop on LEADER Approach Held

On April 27th in Delchevo, the Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia organized the third workshop for familiarizing the East Planning Region stakeholders with LEADER approach and building their capacities on this future IPARD measure in the Republic of Macedonia. Around 20 participants improved their skills in preparing municipal and micro region SWOT analysis.

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RDN Continues the Implementation of LEADER Approach Activities

The Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia realized series of activities linked to the promotion of EU LEADER Approach in 4 municipalities of the South-East Planning region: Strumica, Vasilevo, Bosilevo and Novo Selo, within the USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture Project. The implemented activities aimed to develop the capacities of all stakeholders in these rural areas in order to improve their knowledge and capability for participative planning in making important decisions for the community.

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Presentation of LEADER Principles in the Eastern Planning Region

The Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia continues the implementation of LEADER approach in the Eastern Planning Region, within the USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture Project, through capacity building of the stakeholders in four municipalities: Berovo, Pehchevo, Delchevo and Makedonska Kamenica. In this regard, on March 19th in Berovo, RDN organized a workshop where LEADER principles on tripartite public-private partnership, “bottom-up approach” and “area based development” were presented. The event gathered 30 representatives of the public, civic and private sector.

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The Study on Adaptation of Animal Production to Climate Change in the Republic of Macedonia Presented in Gostivar

On December 23rd in Gostivar, the Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia held a workshop to promote the study on Adaptation of Animal Production to climate Change in the Republic of Macedonia. Many farmers in Macedonia depend wholly or in part on the livestock sector for their livelihoods. Livestock can be particularly susceptible to climate change, especially increases in temperature. This represents a new challenge for livestock owners and experts since there is little existing experience and expertise in how to deal with climate change-related impacts on the livestock sector.

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USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture Project’s Results Presentation

Today, November 7th, at 11:00, within the International Trade Fair “Agrofood”, the Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia in cooperation with Skopje Fair, organized a workshop to present the results obtained from the activities implemented so far through the USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture Project. Professors from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food and the Agricultural Institute, shared the results and achievements from the adaptive measures tested in orchards, vegetables and vineyards, as well as the findings from the two published studies for climate change adaptation in agriculture and animal production. At the same time, the event aimed to raise the awareness of the agricultural producers and the public in general, about the challenges and effects of climate change in the agricultural sector in Macedonia.

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SHARING THE RESULTS AND ACHIEVMENTS FROM THE USAID PROJECT FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN AGRICULTURE

SHARING THE RESULTS AND ACHIEVMENTS FROM THE USAID PROJECT FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN AGRICULTURE

On February 21st 2014, in Bitola, the Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia, organized a workshop for NEA (National Extension Agency) advisors and farmers, in order to present them the benefits and the results of the agricultural measures for adaptation to climate change, which were tested and demonstrated within the USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture project during the past two years.

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Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia on Study Tour to USA

USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture project’s Deputy Chief of Party, Vesela Lambevska Domazetova, together with a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, Lidija Chadikovska, participated in the International Visitor Leadership Project entitled “Climate Change Resiliency” which was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and administrated by World Learning.

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SHARING THE RESULTS AND ACHIEVMENTS FROM THE USAID PROJECT FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN AGRICULTURE

On December the 13-th 2013 in Rosoman, the Rural development network organized a workshop in order to share experiences and results from adaptive agricultural practices, implemented and tested in the period from the beginning of the implementation of USAID project for Adaptation to climate change in agriculture, April 2012 to present day.

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COMMENCING ACTIVITIES FOR PROMOTION OF THE LEADER APPROACH IN THE SOUTH – EAST PLANNING REGION OF REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA

As a part of the USAID project for Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture, Rural Development Network of Republic of Macedonia scheduled realization of activities for promotion of the LEADER approach in municipalities in the south – east planning region in which the impact of climate changes has a negative effect on the overall living of rural households. With affirmation of the EU LEADER approach in the rural areas, RDN aims towards developing of the capacities of all stakeholders in rural areas which will improve their knowledge and capability for participative planning in making important decisions for the community. RDN will support creation of an entity, Local Action Group in a shape of public private partnership that will include partners from the public, private and NGO sector, representing the interests of various stakeholders from 4 municipalities in this region (Strumica,Vasilevo, Bosilovo and Novo Selo). The goal of the group will be to represent the interests of the various stakeholders which exist and work in the rural areas of the municipalities. The aim of the group will be to develop strategic document for rural development which will support and unite local initiatives and actions.

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Study Visit to Italy

Study Visit to Italy

USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture project activities are designed on the basis of positive experiences of international practices in adapting agricultural production to the climate change, adjusted to our specific terrain and climatological circumstances. Yet, the fact remains that hands-on experience, and consequently from it acquired expertise, is still not sufficient.

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Study Visit to Israel

Study Visit to Israel

After the initial implementation of climate change adaptation activities in demonstrative orchards, vineyards and vegetable farms within USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture project, technical assistance to beneficiary farmers for proper application of the specific adaptive measures was continuously provided by project technical experts.

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Workshop for Journalists

The two-day workshop for journalists organized on July 2nd and 3rd in Popova Kula winery, Demir Kapija by the Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia, has passed in a pleasant atmosphere. Journalists, participating in the workshop, were introduced with...

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Presentation of the Results from Implementation of Climate Change Adaptive Measures in Livestock

On November 10th 2016, at the Business Hall of Skopje Fair, more than a hundred livestock breeders and NEA (National Extension Agency) advisors gathered to learn about the climate change influence in livestock and how to preserve the production from its negative effects. USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture project, implemented by the Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia, tested measures for climate change adaptation in pigs, poultry and dairy cattle. The results obtained from the application of the adaptive measures were shared at the event through the presentations delivered by the professors from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food, who worked intensively together with the project beneficiaries’ farmers in the implementation of these useful and affordable measures and practices.

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LAG – from local initiative to leading concept for rural community development

On November 4th, in Shtip, the Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia (RDN of the RM) organized the event “LAG – from local initiative to leading concept for rural community development” to promote 4 Local Action Groups (LAGs) initiatives created in accordance with the EU LEADER approach. Supported by the USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture (ACCA) project, RDN provided a comprehensive capacity building training program on EU LEADER approach specifics encompassing stakeholders of the public, civil and business sector from 17 municipalities in the Eastern and Southeastern region of Macedonia. As a result of this process, the four LAGs finalized 4 Local Development Strategies incorporating actions to improve stakeholders’ inclusion in the decision making process for issues with relevance to their local community.

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ELARD representative visiting Macedonia

On May 26th and 27th, the President of the European LEADER Association for Rural Development – ELARD, Ms. Kristiina Tammets, together with two representatives of the Estonian National Rural Development Network and the Estonian Ministry of Rural Affairs, visited Macedonia. The Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia – RDN of the RM, as member of ELARD since 2011, organized this two-day visit, with the support of the USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture project.

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The First National Conference on Climate Change and Macedonian Agriculture Held

On March 31st, in Strumica the first National Conference on Macedonian Agriculture and Climate Change, was organized with mutual cooperation of the project “Institutional Support to FFRM” We Effect – FFRM, USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture project and the Swedish Embassy in Macedonia. The event aimed to present the negative influence of climate change to the agricultural production and to share measures and techniques that would help farmers to reduce adverse effects in vegetables, orchards, vineyards and livestock.

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EU LEADER Approach Promoted in the East Planning Region of the Republic of Macedonia

More than 30 representatives of local self-government, civil and business sector from the east planning region of the Republic of Macedonia attended the EU LEADER promotional event, which was held on February 22nd in Shtip. The Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia (RDN of RM) together with the Center for Development of the East Planning Region (CDEPR), presented activities related to the EU LEADER approach and emphasized the significance of LEADER as a future IPARD measure in the Republic of Macedonia.

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Promotion of EU LEADER Approach in Southeast Planning Region of the Republic of Macedonia

On February 18th, at the hotel Romantik in Dojran, the Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia (RDN of RM) together with the Center for Development of the Southeast Planning Region (CDSEPR) held an informative workshop to present the activities related to EU LEADER approach and to emphasize the significance of LEADER as a future IPARD measure in the Republic of Macedonia.

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USAID HELPS FARMERS MITIGATE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

On December 21, USAID’s Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture project presented a comprehensive report on the findings from three years of testing various effective yet affordable steps farmers can take to reduce their vulnerability to the negative effects of climate change. The project worked with 17 different farmers to determine which adaptive measures were most effective. The report will be made available to the wider farming community, National Extension Аgency, Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Water Economy, Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, and other educational and scientific institutions.

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Presentation on the baseline measurements in livestock

After the presentation of the baseline measurements in livestock which was held in Bitola and was attended by many dairy breeders and NEA advisors from the western part of Macedonia, the Rural Development Network of RM organized another presentation of this type in Strumica. Prof. Metodija Trajcev PhD from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food presented the baseline results obtained from the monitoring during summer months from June to September 2015. These activities are implemented through USAID Adaptation to Climate change in Agriculture project with aim to raise the awareness of the Macedonian agricultural sector about the negative influence of climate change and help livestock breeders to deal with problems caused by climate change.

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Climate Change, Depends on Us!

Today, in Bogovinje, through a lot of fun and games, the children from six municipal schools, learned about negative influence of climate change and how to mitigate adverse effects in local communities. The event was organized within the campaign “Climate change, it depends on us.” which is carried out by USAID Municipal Climate change Strategies Project.

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Celebrating the Day of the Local Action Group Belasica–Ograzden

During the last year the Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia has implemented piloting LEADER approach activities in the Southeast Planning Region. LEADER approach, as one of the IPARD measures, promotes cooperation between the public, civil and business sector and encourages them to investigate new ways for joint efforts for improving their basic livelihoods. Hence, LEADER contributes to improving the quality of life in rural areas, both for the farming families and for the wider rural population.

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The First Day of Spring Celebrated

Pupils from the primary school “Vancho Kitanov” in Pehchevo, celebrated the first day of spring with singing and dancing. The event held on March 21st was supported by the Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia and a couple of NGOs from Pehchevo region such as the Environmental Association “Solza” and the Center for herbs and forest fruits “Ambrosia”.

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Initial Meeting on LEADER Approach

On Wednesday, February 11th 2015, at the Municipality of Berovo, the Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia organized an initial meeting for promotion of LEADER approach in the East Planning Region of Macedonia. The event gathered more than 25 representatives of the public, civil and business sector from the municipalities of Berovo, Pehchevo, Delchevo and Makedonska Kamenica, as well as representatives of the Center for Development of the East Planning Region. The attendants were introduced with the basic principles of the LEADER approach as one of the future IPARD 2 measures.

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Climate Change Quiz

On May 9th at the agricultural high school “Goce Delchev” in Valandovo, a Climate Change Quiz was organized by the USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture Project.

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Climate Change Caravan helps rural communities adapt

On September 26th in Sveti Nikole, the Climate Change Caravan, organized by the USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture (ACCA) project, concluded its autumn campaign with the last of four stops around the country. By bringing climate change experts to rural areas, the Caravan educates small farmers and their communities about the anticipated effects of climate change. Through open question-and-answer sessions, the experts address farmers’ concerns, share strategies for adapting to climate change effects, and emphasize the importance of proactive, community-wide responses. Minister of Agriculture Ljupco Dimovski, USAID Mission Director James Stein, and USAID ACCA project Chief of Party Petar Gjorgievski, made remarks.

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Study on livestock adaptation to climate change in Macedonia

Preparation of a “Study on livestock adaptation to climate change in Macedonia“ was initiated by USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture project. The overall aim of this study is to assess what action(s) are needed for producers and other actors of the value chain to adapt to climate change in the country. A visit by Dr. Mo Salman, Veterinary Epidemiology professor at Colorado State University, and Joyce Turk, Senior Livestock Advisor of USAID headquarters in Washington, D.C., was organized by the Rural Development Network (RDN) in conjunction with the USAID Macedonia Mission. The team members (Salman and Turk) conducted this mission from March 25 –March 29, 2013. The main purpose of this trip was to become more acquainted with the current livestock production in Macedonia and its perspective in light of the climate change challenge through 2025, and specifically to gather information relevant to animal production systems, performance and practices, and metrological changes for the last 15 years.

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Launching of Climate Change Caravan in Novo Selo within Strumica Region

On May 9th, the Climate Change Caravan, organized by the USAID Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture (ACCA) project, started on its journey across Macedonia. Beginning with the event in v. Novo Selo within Strumica region, the Caravan will make six stops in rural areas of the country, during May and beginning of June. The Caravan was designed to reach rural communities and educate small farmers and other citizens about the anticipated effects of climate change, share strategies for adapting to these effects, and emphasize the importance of proactive responses to them at the grassroots level.

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