Story and photos by Ali Misimi | Project Coordinator | Heifer Kosovo
Men, women and children gathered in the center of the village of Lluzhan to celebrate a Passing on the Gift ® (POG) ceremony. Nine heifers were passed on to new beneficiary farmers from original recipients.
Heifer Kosovo and the Agroflora farmers association organized the ceremony held on August 30, 2012, as part of the Helping Small Scale Farmers Creating Commercial Farms project. The project started last year and covers six different municipalities in Kosovo including Prishtina, Peja, Vushtrri, Gracanica, Fushe Kosova and Klina.
In the Peja municipality, 37 families benefited from the original donation of 30 pregnant Simmental heifers and seven pregnant Holstein Frisian heifers. The gift is now being passed on with this POG.
Everybody was very excited and happy with this ceremony, especially the new farmers who looked forward to receiving the purebred heifers. Before the ceremony, farmers helped each other transport the heifers and the ceremony went very well. The director of the agriculture department for Peja, Mr. Tahir Cuka, attended with his associates and praised Heifer Kosovo for helping the farmers in this region and for being one of the most important partner organizations to the municipality of Peja. He emphasized the professionalism and transparency that the Heifer Kosovo staff had shown during the implementation of this project, and also for its unique work standards and experience. Leaders of Agroflora, Mr. Ibrahim Mulaj and Mr. Shefqet Mulaj, together with their colleagues, did a great job in organizing this event. They are among the most successful project holders that partner with Heifer Kosovo in implementing Heifer projects.
The participating farmers are very thankful to Heifer Kosovo for this project, which has already resulted in increased milk production and incomes. A milk collection and processing point is located in this village, which is great motivation for these farmers to continue to increase the herd numbers and milk production. In addition, another POG ceremony is being organized for November 2012.