Presentation of the Report "Rural Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Myth and Reality"

Feb 14, 2014

The Eighth Report on Human Development 'Rural Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Myth and Reality' was presented to public experts, representatives of institutions and organizations in the Republika Srpska.

The Report 'Rural Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina' has tried to put emphesis on human development in rural areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and on the real facts about job opportunities, self-employment, income and access to education and health care of people living in rural parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Report for the first time gives an answer to the question of how much importance agriculture has in the rural life of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"The most important contribution of the Report is the focus on development of rural areas and villages, not only on agriculture, but also on other important factors such as economic status, employment opportunities, availability of public services and infrastructure, and the general satistaction of the social needs of every human being, health and social protection, education and additional  contents, such as the Internet and social needs", said Gordana Rokvić, one of the authors of the Report and Advisor for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republika Srpska.

The main task of the Report on Human Development is to offer a real picture of the situation and recognize the real advantages and disadvantages instead, the usual, often unfounded assumptions about rural life and resources in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The result of the research carried out by the UNDP in Bosnia and Herzegovina and analysis of the current situation in rural areas is seven key recommendations that can serve as guidelines for the activities of the relevant institutions in the future.

"The focus of this Report lies between people and stereotypes that people in rural areas live much poorer than people in urban areas. We investigated the quality of life for people in rural, semi-urban and urban areas. The main conclusion indicates what makes good life in an urban area, makes a good life in a rural area as well. In the Report, we advocate for a comprehensive policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina concerning the urban and rural areas, especially semi-urban areas", said Armin Sirčo, Head of the Sector for Social Inclusion and Democratic Governance, UNDP in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In addition to breaking the most famous myth of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a country with extraordinary rural potencial, the Report indicates unemployment as one of the major problems, regardless of whether in rural or urban areas. Improving management and administration, and implementation of a large number of regulations and reducing the administrative burden of the rural population could be to reduce the overall level of bureaucracy in the country, which would secure equal conditions for business and economic growth for both rural and urban areas.

 "A new rural policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina should be primarily oriented to creation of new job opportunities, whether in urban or rural areas, and then connection of rural and urban areas through building economical, better and cheaper administration, on the one hand, and building conditions for business on the other hand", said Goran Živkov, Consultant and Team Leader for Development of the Report.

In addition to the UNDP team and the authors of the Report, the presentation and discussion of the Report, organized in the RS Chamber of Commerce in Banja Luka, also attended private sector representatives and public experts and entity institutions in charge of local development issues.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) annually conducts research on human development in 177 countries around the world, including Bosnia and Herzegovina.