Project: Lithuania


Country Overview:

Lithuania is situated in Northern Europe. It has around 61.5 miles of sandy coastline, of which only about 24 miles face the open Baltic Sea.  

In 2010, Lithuania’s rural population accounted for nearly 30 percent of the total population. Lithuania’s agricultural sector has a low level of productivity. Problems include a lack of capital, fragmented agricultural holdings, poor quality breeds and inadequate hygiene standards. An additional burden on the Lithuanian agricultural sector is the poor educational level of farmers. This population is also growing older; approximately 23 percent of Lithuania’s rural population is 65 years or older. 

In Lithuania more than two-thirds of people are without jobs – including a high proportion of older workers who lack key vocational skills and work experience or have simply lost skills due to long periods of unemployment. Furthermore, the productivity of those employed is the lowest in the European Union. Therefore, lifelong learning has become a key development area for Lithuania. 

Heifer's Work in Lithuania:

Heifer International projects were opened in Lithuania in 1999. But its first office was opened in 2005 as part of the Heifer Baltic Foundation based in Vilnius, Lithuania. The foundation was opened officially in 2005 with help from the Irish NGO Bothar, which provided a large grant to establish Heifer's first office in the region.

Heifer Baltic Foundation, operating in Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, is working in rural communities to end hunger and poverty. It has the goal of participating in regional development and international cooperation programmes, to raise funds and implement projects not only in the Baltic countries, but also in other Central and Eastern European, Asian and African countries.

Key Services Heifer Provides:

Sustainable agricultural production: Livestock breeding and management training; Organic fertilizers; Biodiversity preservation

Post-harvest management and processing: Accessing local and alternative markets

Market development: Micro-enterprise development; Supporting small scale farms

Technology: Using environmentally friendly technologies; Innovative breeding techniques; Biomass fuel production

Nutrition: Promoting food security; Improving access to dairy, meat and vegetables through organic gardening