ECIKS PRESS RELEASE, 25 october 2013
Vienna, October 25, 2013 – ATI GmbH — an Austrian company producing agricultural equipment and operating fruit farms — has started its investment in the agriculture sector in Kosovo. The project receives financial support from the Austrian Development Cooperation through the Business Partnership Program, and is also supported by the Economic Initiative for Kosovo (ECIKS) and AgroAhishta through provision of consultancy services.
The ATI business model in Kosovo consists of three business lines: Initially, the investor creates the company “ATI Fruit Production & Sales” by building a model production site with 10 ha as a first step for producing and training purposes, establishing a local producer and supplier network, integrating the Kosovo farmers in a “Fruit-Cluster” and setting up a distribution network in Kosovo. Second, an ATI Institute is launched for the purpose of providing further training for local famers. This institute will also introduce an information platform for an early warning system on difficult weather conditions and plant diseases for the farmers and related educational institutions. Finally, the department “ATI Machinery” will deal with sales, rental and lease of equipment as well as with the intermediation of workforce.
This investment aims to create some 35 new food product jobs and will cooperate directly with more than 100 farmers regarding production, distribution, export, equipment such as used farm equipment, and training.
Some 70 percent of the Kosovo market demand for agricultural products and processed food is still covered by imports. “By strengthening local supply chains and utilizing the vast potential of Kosovo’s agricultural sector, the project will reduce dependence on imports and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country” says Daniel Rössler, Project Manager of the Business Partnership Program for the Western Balkans. The project represents a major Austrian contribution towards job creation, substitution of fruit imports, increasing of exports of local products, and creation of local value chains in the agriculture sector.