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Model farmers poised for exponential production gains in Macedonia

The Small Business Expansion Project (SBEP), CARANA Corporation’s USAID-funded program in Macedonia, is introducing drip irrigation and modern agricultural protocols with pilot farmers as a means to increase corn yields by up to 200%. Current yields are less than half the global average, but with the assistance of NETAFIM and local affiliate MAGAN MAK (an agricultural supply company), CARANA has designed a program to demonstrate the transformational impact of this technology and has recruited 80 of the country’s leading corn and dairy farmers to participate as models for their peers. As a key input for animal feed and processed foods, corn affects multiple sectors of the local economy; increased yields will offer significant growth potential for a variety of small businesses along the value chain. Starting out, drip technology will be deployed on some 44 hectares in the regions of Polog and Pelagonija, a figure that the project expects to grow many times over in subsequent seasons. SBEP’s goal is for up to 400 farmers to embrace drip irrigation in the coming years, with ripple effects for countless more local families and businesses.

Slavco Petkovski is one of the best corn farmers in the Pelagonija region of Macedonia.Slavco Petkovski is one of the best corn farmers in the Pelagonija region of Macedonia.

For more information on SBEP (and to watch a video demonstrating their efforts), read our earlier story.

Published April 2013