In the period 19-21 April 2017 in Banja Koviljaca, Serbia SWG and FAO international experts facilitated training for the participants from the “Drina-Sava” and “Drina-Tara” cross-border regions. This workshop provided an opportunity for exchange of experiences, as well as development of ideas for possible joint actions among participants. The training was conducted with a participatory approach ensured by plenary and working group discussions. The 3-day capacity development workshop on “Fostering integrated economic development through sustainable use of natural resources and greening of value chains” contributed to:
- Increased awareness and knowledge about sustainable use of natural resources, greening of the value chain, joint promotion and marketing of quality products and services with a view to creating business partnerships, as well as creating and maintaining image of products and services in the region of “Drina-Tara” and “Drina-Sava”.
The main topics presented and discussed during the Workshop were the following:
- SWG activities for facilitation of the sustainable economic development of WB rural cross-border areas -current status and possible future actions;
- Concept of cooperation in value chains and trends in the EU; Potentials of products and services from WB cross-border areas;
- Principles of sustainable management of natural resources within the framework of developing rural areas;
- Plenary discussion of the environmental concerns to be considered in planning of economic development actions in the cross-border regions;
- Developing business partnerships and networks in cluster organisations and development of cluster organization in cross-border context;
- Greening of value chains and fostering of integrated cooperation between actors;
- Business development through the improvement of small operator’s capacity to manage business in rural areas;
- Food and tourism business strategies in a rural development context;
- Business Model Canvas, a practical tool for business planning;
- Development of business strategy using the Business Model Canvas approach around attractive products, attractions and services from the regions.
The participants developed business strategies using the Business Model Canvas approach. They were divided into two working groups per region, one group for tourism and the other for agriculture, where four business strategies were presented:
- Adrenalin tourism cluster
- Red gold Cluster of Drina-Tara region
- Cluster for organic production
- Cluster for rural tourism development
This joint capacity building activity was financed through the EU project: ”Fostering regional cooperation and balanced territorial development of Western Balkan countries in the process towards EU integration – Support to the Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG) in South-East Europe”, as well as the FAO TCP Facility: “Implementation of short value chain development in cross-border areas in the Western Balkan region”.