Innovation, Development and Employment in the Agrifood Sector

Acronym IDEAS
Priority axis Development and Support of Local Economy
Specific Objective Create employment opportunities for educated graduates by exploiting comparative advantages of the cross-border area, preferably with the use of innovative tools and practices
Call 2nd Call for Project Proposals (Targeted & Restricted)
Start date April 28, 2022
Lead Partner Foundation for Local & IT Development - Gevgelija
Partners American Farm School
Rural Development Network of North Macedonia
Budget 537.216,90 €
IDEAS: “Innovation, Development, and Employment in the Agri-food Sector” is a project that capitalizes on the strengths of the Agriculture and Food sectors in the cross-border area, which not only traditionally has been one of its strengths, but moreover shows great dynamism today. 

Nevertheless, in both sides of the borders, the sector is characterized by a significant lack of available human capital with the capacity to follow and adapt to the challenges that the ever-changing natural and market environment poses. At the same time young, highly qualified professionals lack the technical and financial support to make use of their competencies in the market.  Therefore, the competitiveness of the sector is gradually losing edge and significant potential remains untapped.

The project aspires to address these issues by promoting entrepreneurship for young highly educated professionals in order for them to create new sustainable agri-businesses.

The overall objective of the project is to identify, support and kick-start new business in the agri-food sector that have innovative potential and who can become multipliers of the advantages of the region. Based on the identified needs and priorities IDEAS will focus on Smart Agriculture in both countries and Food Health and Safety in the Republic of North Macedonia.

The main outputs of the project will be the following: (a) A Communication campaign to inform young qualified professionals for opportunities and career pathways in the agri-food sector that will lead to the recruitment of ideas for the next stages. (b) Training in the two identified Agri-food fields and (c) Training in a Business Tools workshop, (d) five selected business will benefit from private consultancy on Business support, (e) five selected business will benefit from private consultancy on Legal support, (f) five selected business will benefit from Digital Support Services through specialized Hardware and (g) organization of visits to demonstration farms exhibitions fairs etc. from five (5) businesses.

The partners worked jointly to form a cohesive and comprehensive project. IDEAS brings together highly qualified young professionals and one of the most promising productive sectors in the CBA, building in identified strengths and addressing basic NEEDS such as “the decrease of unemployment”, “restraining the demographic deficit” as well as Basic Priorities “Make use of labour force in small urban centres”, “Take advantage of technology and innovation potentials” and “Link academic capabilities with local opportunities”.


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