Kosovo was born as a result of the four Yugoslav Wars during the 1990's. The Kosovo War was the last of the four wars fought in 1999. Kosovo is still not recognized as a country by some political entities.
Kosovo is in the process of rebuilding and agriculture is a key ingredient in that process. Farmers in Kosovo had never tasted asparagus before. In fact, very few of the ethnic Albanians and 80% moderate Muslims living there had. But the potential for production due to its climate and location to other countries whose people consumed it (Germany, Netherlands, France. Belgium, UK) appeared promising.
|Farm land in Kosovo countryside|
Pests are not a big problem yet on asparagus there yet because it is pretty isolated from asparagus production areas in Europe. The biggest problem is weed control. Weeds will dramatically reduce production and harbor pests and diseases. The good farmers control weeds. The less committed, don't.
|Planting with crowns grown outside the country, spears look good from the better farmers.|
|Asparagus trials in Kosovo|
|Hydrocooler built in Kosovo for a small fraction of its commercial price will lower the temperature of asparagus spears to 34F using ice cold water before putting it into refrigerated coolers.|
|Project technical advisors figuring out the grading and sorting procedures before training Kosovo farmers.|
|Asparagus spears bagged to keep the humidity high and prevent losses from dehydration|
|Getting my selfie in before the Ambassador shows up for the kickoff at the Swiss Diamond Hotel in Prishtina, Kosovo.|
|There is the asparagus display for the event showing the asparagus graded, sorted and wrapped in rubber bands of about 350 g each. Plastic bags keep them fresh and looking good. Boxes are for shipping on palettes for export.|