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Within the framework of the project "Education and economic empowerment of vulnerable groups of women and girls in Montenegro - EKOS", which is financed by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, and implemented by Zavod KROG from Slovenia in partnership with NGO IMPULS and NGO IKRE Rožaje from Montenegro, training on growing medicinal and aromatic plants was held in July for 20 women from the municipality of Rožaje and the municipality of Nikšić, who were given the opportunity to develop and acquire new skills.

The aim of the training was to improve employability, facilitate access to the labor market and support the economic empowerment of rural women in the cultivation and processing of medicinal and aromatic herbs.

During five intensive trainings, the selected women acquired knowledge and practical skills for empowerment in the agricultural sector and trained in the cultivation and sale of medicinal and aromatic plants.

In the first part of the training, they received basic information about medicinal plants and herbs, the importance of their cultivation, the impact on biodiversity and the environment. In the following, they were educated about the characteristics of the selected herbs, about environmental protection, legal regulations and standards, about successful agricultural practices and learned more about business communication, product marketing and the establishment of their own company, in accordance with the goal of the training, which also refers to supporting women in achieving economic independence. The training program included, among other things, the importance and valorization of medicinal and aromatic herbs, the impact of harvesting and cultivation on biodiversity, raising awareness of environmental protection, familiarizing the participants with drying, processing and packaging procedures, developing awareness of the economic empowerment of women using examples from the world of agribusiness.

After training, women have the option of mentoring support, where experts in this field will provide additional support and advice to women to improve their skills and overcome potential obstacles to success. In order to expand their knowledge, the women will have the opportunity to visit two study locations in the field of medicinal herbs processing in the area of ​​Montenegro. These experiences will allow them to meet successful entrepreneurs and get inspiration first hand.

The participants are satisfied with the training and see it as a good opportunity and support to strengthen themselves economically and start something of their own. "I can say that I feel motivated, I knew most of the women from before and I believe that we can achieve the desired results," says one of the participants. "This is a great opportunity for women to strengthen themselves economically and run their own small business, which can always grow into something bigger. And I would say that such an idea and will really exists among the training participants," said one of the participants.

According to Velida Hodžić, director of the NGO "IKRE" Rožaje, women are highly motivated to improve their knowledge about various ambiguities related to planting and growing medicinal and aromatic herbs through constant interaction.

Training in the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic herbs promotes gender inclusion and equality in the medicinal herb sector, empowering women in agribusinesses and economic independence that brings stability to them and their families. It contributes to the development of awareness of the importance of preserving biodiversity and caring for the environment, and encourages the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices that reduce negative impacts on the environment.

The training has enabled the women to adopt sustainable agricultural practices that have a positive impact on biodiversity and the environment, to develop a profitable and sustainable business that will improve their economic status and provide stability for them and their families.


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