Exchange Visit of STINA Women’s Association from Kosovo to Albania: exploring local seed bank,didactic field and educational laboratories.

From May 22 to May 23, 2024, Schola Campesina, in collaboration with COSPE Association and the Professional School “Ndre Mjeda” in Bushat, Vau Dejes Municipality, organized a visit from the STINA Women’s Association from Kosovo. The delegation, accompanied by Tahir Halitaj from the Ministry of Agriculture in Pristina and Andrea Ferrante from Schola Campesina in Rome, explored rural experiences in the Zadrima territory, spanning the Shkodra and Lezha municipalities in Albania.

The visit aimed to showcase Albanian successes in rural development, focusing on key sites such as the local seed bank, the didactic field, and the educational laboratories at the “Ndre Mjeda” professional school. The group also visited BioZadrima, a collective of small organic farmers, to observe their cultivation practices and their innovative approach to selling products directly through the renowned Agritourism “Mrizi i Zanave.” This model demonstrates a sustainable way for small farmers to ensure year-round sales within their territory, fostering knowledge exchange and mutual support in agricultural endeavors.

The exchange was supported by the BILIM network, which includes associations dedicated to agroecology from Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Caucasus, and Central Asia. Both STINA Women’s Association and COSPE are active members of the AND-Albanian Network for Rural Development, which facilitated this collaboration.

This visit was part of a broader initiative to exchange experiences between Albania and Kosovo, particularly focusing on the establishment and community benefits of local seed banks. The STINA Women’s Association expressed interest in replicating these practices in Kosovo. Discussions also covered potential twinning with professional schools and future collaboration opportunities in the Balkans.

Such exchanges promote the sharing of successful initiatives, enhance the quality of educational programs, and provide valuable insights for small family farmers. By focusing on traditional techniques and local knowledge, the BILIM community places the farmer at the center of development, recognizing their vital contributions to agriculture and rural sustainability.


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