Project Title: Innovative Practices in Environmental Protection phase II

IPA Component: IPA 2, Cross Border Cooperation Programme.

Project duration: 24 Months, 15.11.2017- 14.11.2019

Cost of the action: 439,929.60 €

Lead applicant and co-applicants: Center for Civic Initiative (CCI) as the lead applicant and Destination Management Organization (DMO), Association of fruit producers Blagoj A. Kotlarovski and Agrinas-ER as co-applicants.

Abstract (short project summary): An estimated population within the intervention area of 30.000 people benefited from the project activities by the tackle down of the environmental improvements. In addition to the project participants, at least 200 farmers working around Prespa Lake Basin and region of Korce were targeted by direct project interventions in the sector of sustainable agriculture. The farmers were supported through trainings for usage of the fertigation systems, measure that has a direct impact on the reduction of the usage of the fertilizers that are considered to be one of the main factors for pollution. At the same time, through the work of the Automatic Agro meteorological Stations and the SMS system of information the agro producers are receiving timely information for usage of pesticides for protection of the orchards which has an impact on the reduction of the pollution in the agro fields. The agrochemical laboratories are supporting the agro producers through soil analysis that provide them with guidance of what kind of fertilizers they can use. All of these interventions have impacted on protection of the environment and at the same time it had an impact on the economic growth of the region. The interventions impact has been supported through study analysis of the effectiveness of the usage of the fertigation on reduction of fertilizers and consequently the reduction of nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen in the environment. The agro producers have been introduced to the composting system as management of the organic waste where they could use it to produce compost that is environmentally safe process of fertigation and establish the basis for organic production. The establishment of the Association of agro producers in Kroca has supported the farmers in effective and organized provision of services to the agro producers in terms of management of the AAMS and the information system and became interlocutor recognized by the other players in the sector. The agro producers had the opportunity to attend a study visit in EU countries for understanding of the techniques for composting and fertigation. Moreover, 15 schools in both of the countries have been included in the action through establishment of eco gardens and eco patrols where at least 2.000 children have been involved in educational activities and awareness campaigns.

Final beneficiary: 30 000 people living in the Prespa lake Basin and Korce region.

Action location/s: Resen, Prespa  and Korca.

Objectives: The overall objective set for this action is to stimulate sustainable use of natural   resources for protection of the environment.

Specific objectives: 

A. To increase the awareness for sustainable use of natural resources for protection of the environment

B. To reduce the negative effects from usage of pesticides and fertilizers on environment

Activities:

Component 1: Coordination, management and visibility including: coordination meetings, website and visibility actions as kick off and close out conference.

Component 2: Actions of agro producers: Installation of additional automatic agro meteorological stations and annual maintenance of existing software for processing collected data of the AM Station; Support to Agrochemical laboratories at cross-border level and designing of informative web page for dissemination of the data to promote sustainable agriculture; Trainings for the farmers for practical usage of the fertigation; Establishment of organization of agro producers in Korcha and transfer of experience from Association of agro producers Blagoj A. Kotlarovski; Piloting of the usage of the fertigation in two specific areas in the cross border region through providing of sub grants for the interested agro producers; Study analysis of the effectiveness of the usage of the fertigation on the reduction of fertilizers  and consequently the reduction of nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, in the environment.

Component 3: Awareness rising including: Awareness rising for youth in sustainable usage of the national resources; Introduction of composting system as technique for reduction of fertilizers and cross border exchange of practices; Study visit in EU country for understanding of the techniques for composting and fertilization.

Results:

i. Supported actions of the agro producers for rational usage of pesticides and fertilizers for reducing of the negative effect on the environment 

ii. Increased awareness for sustainable usage of the national resources through “no waste” practices.