New project aims to further land consolidation in North Macedonia
09 nëntor 2022
Today is a significant milestone in the development of the agriculture sector in North Macedonia, as one five-year undertaking concludes, and another begins.
The new project “Enhancing land consolidation in North Macedonia” aims to continue addressing the fragmentation of agricultural land and increase the competitiveness of agricultural production in the country. Along with the now-concluded MAINLAND (Mainstreaming of the National Land Consolidation Programme) project, it is funded by the European Union and co-funded and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in close collaboration with the Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy of North Macedonia.
At an opening ceremony for the new project today in Skopje, participants were welcomed by Ljupco Nikolovski, minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy; David Geer, head of delegation of the European Union to North Macedonia; and Nabil Gangi, FAO Deputy Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia.
Acknowledging the EU and FAO support to land consolidation, Minister Nikolovski highlighted that the MAINLAND project results have positioned North Macedonia as a leader in the region in implementing such complex structural land reforms, and as an example for successful land consolidation.
The small size (less than 2 ha, on average) of agricultural land holdings in North Macedonia presents an obstacle for farmers, as it limits rural growth in general and has adverse effects on farm productivity, competitiveness and efficiency. Land consolidation is a highly effective land management instrument for agriculture and rural development, allowing farmers to farm fewer parcels that are larger and better shaped and that can be managed more effectively. Improving the farm structure can facilitate the adoption of new agricultural technologies, leading to a more prosperous and efficient agricultural sector.
In his remarks, FAO Deputy Regional Representative Nabil Gangi, stressed that considering the multiple crises the world is facing today, it is more important than ever to increase agricultural and farm productivity, competitiveness, and resilience to future shocks – which has been at the heart of the MAINLAND project. He thanked Macedonian farmers for their trust and active participation, crucial for the success of the land consolidation efforts, emphasizing that the European Union Delegation, FAO, and the ministry will continue the work for enhancing land consolidation in the country.
Ambassador Geer stressed that the MAINLAND project paved the way for structural reforms in agriculture. He pointed out that ‘’the project has shown that complex land consolidation is possible and replicable, and that committed partnerships lead to successful reforms in even the most complex areas such as land policy.’’ Referring to the overarching EU Green Deal, he mentioned that ‘’initiatives, such as land consolidation play a critical role in Europe’s ambitious green efforts and in achieving the global objective of sustainable land use, through enhancing the purpose of land use for the sustainable production of healthy food, appropriate use of natural resources, and restoration of vital ecosystems.
At the event, Kristina Mitic Arsova, FAO MAINLAND team leader, and Kiril Georgievski, head of the ministry’s Land Consolidation Department, presented the key achievements of the MAINLAND project in North Macedonia, including an assessment of the feasibility of land consolidation in 14 rural areas and the implementation of land consolidation in nine project areas. The project strengthened the ministry’s technical and administrative capacities and guided other key public agencies and private geodetic companies, contracted for field work, in managing and implementing the National Land Consolidation Strategy and Programme. Additionally, the project helped improve the legal framework for land consolidation and raised awareness of the issue among agricultural landowners and key actors in North Macedonia.
Building on the results of the MAINLAND project, the new European Union–FAO project will assist the Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy in further enhancing land consolidation by strengthening and updating the national policy and the legal and institutional framework for land consolidation. The project also aims to scale up the National Land Consolidation Programme, with full-fledged land consolidation in two project areas and the construction of agricultural infrastructure. The project, with a budget of EUR 1.2 million, is expected to be concluded in January 2026.
Subjektet e OKB-së të përfshira në këtë nismë
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations