“I have worked alongside my family in collecting medicinal aromatic plants since I was a child. This is good work, suitable for all ages, and a good opportunity for generating more family income”. Blinishta Beqiraj, is now at university, studying agriculture and also invests her time in attending training programs designed for youth involved in farming and agribusiness. With her new knowledge and skills, she provides more specialized support to her family farm in Mojstir, Istog and to her family business “Erblini”, which deals mostly with collection of wild medicinal aromatic plants and cultivation of such plants and drying. Apart from being intensively involved in all stages of farming, Blinishta is very close to her 4-year old sister and spends as much time with her as she can spare.
Fitore Avdiaj, with degrees in mass communication and economics, manages a crucial process in her family business Agroprodukt shpk, which is the biggest collector, processor and exporter of medicinal aromatic plants in Kosovo, located in Istog. Fitore spends most of her time in the production area. She oversees the production process, registers the broad variety of medicinal aromatic plants and other non-wood forest products coming in, checks on the quality of dried and packaged goods, and oversees the sample exporting. “Following the advice of a German expert, we hired more women to work on the sorting and classification line, as they show more aptitude and skill in this crucial process” says Fitore, who together with her other siblings, are involved in every aspect of running the business started by their father.
Young women like Blinishta and Fitore are the future of the agribusiness sector in Kosovo. They are inspiring role models for other younger women, be it from their families or social circles. They are also contributors to the growth of farming and agribusiness sectors with the knowledge and skills acquired through education and specialized training.