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Within the framework of the project "Education and Economic Empowerment of Vulnerable Groups of Women and Girls in Montenegro - EKOS", funded by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and implemented by Zavod KROG from Slovenia in partnership with the NVO IMPULS and the NVO IKRE Rožaje from Montenegro, a training course on the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic herbs started last weekend, which will provide 20 women from the area of the municipalities of Rožaje and Nikšić with the opportunity to develop and acquire new skills.

The training aims to improve employability, facilitate access to the labour market, and support the economic empowerment of rural women in the production and processing of medicinal and aromatic plants. During five intensive trainings, which take place once a week, the selected women will acquire knowledge and practical skills to empower themselves in the agricultural sector and will be trained in the production and sale of medicinal and aromatic plants. In the first part of the training, they were given basic information on medicinal and aromatic plants, the importance of their cultivation, their impact on biodiversity and the environment. In the following parts, they will learn about the characteristics of the species selected for planting, environmental protection, legal regulations and standards, successful farming practices, as well as business communication, product marketing and setting up their own business, as the aim of the training is to support women in achieving economic independence.

Moreover, after the training, women will have the opportunity to receive mentoring support once a month, where experts in the field will provide additional support and advice to enable women to improve their skills and overcome any barriers to success.

In order to broaden their horizons, women will also have the opportunity to visit two study sites in the field of medicinal plant processing in the Montenegrin territory. These experiences will allow them to meet successful entrepreneurs and get first-hand inspiration.

The participants themselves are also pleased with the start of 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 have known the majority of the women previously and I believe that we can achieve the results we want", says one of the participants.

Training in medicinal and aromatic plant production promotes gender inclusion and equality in the medicinal plant sector, the empowerment of women in agribusiness and economic autonomy that brings stability to them and their families. It contributes to developing 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 usefulness of the training is also reflected in the women's statements saying that they like the concept of the training, which is both interesting and new, and brings, for example, "useful information about the negative impacts on the living world and what our role is in it".

The training is a unique opportunity to acquire new knowledge, develop skills and make economic progress. It is encouraging to hear feedback from participants who are happy to be part of the team and look forward to the next training. The project partners are also proud to be part of this project that promotes women's entrepreneurship and sustainable development. We believe that these women will become agents of change in their communities and contribute to the prosperity of the local economy.


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