Agriculture with a clean concious
While walking through a field of kale with Jasmina, she fondly spoke of the memories of her late grandfather. Her family had always lived in the small community of Visici, in between the southwest Herzegovina town of Capljina and Metkovic, a town on the Neretva Delta in neighboring Croatia. Her village is flanked by BiH’s largest wetlands and RAMSAR site, Hutovo Blato Nature Park. She said her grandfather had always instilled in them the values of being honest and that working the land was no exception. He would remind the grandchildren from an early age that the land has given them everything that have, so we have to reciprocate by also giving to the land. They were taught to respect the land they worked and as a pillar of those teachings, that we also need to be conscientious of the people, our neighbors, who will eat the food we grow. So they were never allowed to even consider using chemicals or destructive agriculture practices that might yield larger harvests. Instead, they focused on quality, preserving healthy soil, and making sure that they went to bed each night with a clean conscious – knowing that the food their clients eat will nourish them and not poison them.
Those childhood lessons obviously stuck with Jasmina. As a mother Jasmina was always conscientious about the food she fed her child. A key part of her vision came from just that, knowing that there were other mothers looking for healthy food for their kids. So when she started her agricultural business with home delivery she did was she says is key to any business ‘I listened to my customers…and gave them quick and accurate feedback. They knew I was a mother as well and we all wanted to give our children the healthiest food possible.’ Jasmina began home delivery of fresh fruit and veggies in Mostar and orders soon started coming in from other towns from around the country. Her coop, that employs seven people and involved 12 families and 65 of their members in the production of fresh and organic agricultural products from Nevesinje, Stolac and Visici.
Her company, founded in July 2018, with co-ownership of five diaspora members, has been supported with a grant from USAID Diaspora Invest that enabled her to purchase a low emissions, energy efficient tractor to plow and till the fields. Her company, Eko Jasmina, focuses on direct agricultural production, support for smaller agricultural producers offering assistance and transferring knowledge on eco and organic farming and developing eco-friendly markets. In addition to engaging in primary agricultural production, Eko Jasmina has recently opened a small shop in downtown Mostar to strengthen direct links with customers and build trust, obtain feedback, and educate consumers on the benefits of organic and eco-friendly production. She delivers products to Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Konjic and several other towns throughout BiH. Contact: [email protected]; 063 205 303