Monday, September 30, 2013

Business cards for successful farmers

.The AgroLib Ja project has been helping farmers since 2010 to advertise and market their produce and old crafts in the best possible way. This includes registering at online marketplace AgroLib (, free business cards and flyers, etc. This turned out to be a good practice and an effective way for farmers to advertise their products and have easier access to customers, and for us to find new users.

On Thursday, 26 September 2013 in the Jagodina Library, the village librarians got business cards for farmers in their villages. The village librarians distributed the business cards to successful farmers who use AgroLib market services. In a few days we will have farmers' flyers printed

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Successful business of Ljiljana Vulic, AgroLib market user

Ljiljana Vulic from the village of Staro Laniste, an AgroLib market user, who produces mats, organized a little celebration of her expansion of production on 23 September 2013. Besides the members of the AgroLib team from the Jagodina library, among the guests were the representatives of the Agency for small and medium enterprises and registered agricultural households, a civic association Etno forma from Jagodina as well as other NGOs and a crew from a local TV station RTJ.

This is a second time that Ljiljana received incentives from the state and used them to build a facility where she would produce and exhibit her products made of reed. In the application process, she got help from the Agency for small and medium enterprises and registered agricultural households, which is a partner of AgroLib project. Receiving the incentives for the second time shows that Ljiljana is serious in her work and her successful manufacturing is a guarantee for her future business.

Ljiljana has a user’s profile on AgroLib website within the AgroLib marketplace ( ) and her private business with making mats started improving after she became a user of AgroLib project services. She applied for incentives at the Employment Service Agency and started with the production. In addition to that, she owns a certificate for old craft production. As a successful user of Agrolib services, she got free businesses cards and flyers from the library as a gift.

As Ljiljana says, people usually find her through AgroLib website. Most of them are from big cities like Belgrade, Nis and Novi Sad. She sends each order by courier to people’s home address and the customers are very happy with the service and the quality of mats.

“The thing that I find very interesting is that mats are today used for various purposes. For example, as deck chairs, for sun protection, decoration, partition walls, etc. Perhaps, the most popular use today is as protection from geopathogenic radiation and there are more and more people who order mats for this reason”, adds Ljiljana.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Successful visit to blueberry plantation - on-site learning and sharing

The Jagodina Public Library makes efforts to open the library doors to all residents in the local community.  The library modeled itself on libraries worldwide and developed a range of services apart from the traditional ones for non-formal education of residents. By addressing the needs of rural residents in the Jagodina municipality villages, since 2010 the Jagodina library actively participates in information literacy of farmers through the network of rural libraries. The aim is to improve and modernize agricultural production and launch new agricultural businesses.

 The services within the project of Agricultural libraries in the Jagodina municipality are provided during winter when farmers are not working in their fields. During the three years of the project implementation, 43 agricultural lectures have been hosted and 19 lecturers and successful agricultural producers have been the speakers. During lectures, farmers shared examples of good practice, some of them improved their production and some of them started new agricultural businesses.

 The most visited lecture in the previous season was a lecture on blueberries. As a relatively new crop in Serbia, blueberry is insufficiently known about, although it deserves attention for its healing properties. The lifespan of a plant is up to 50 years. Although, growing this plant can make a good profit, it requires a serious investment in its production. Serbia is, thanks to good agro-meteorological conditions, a great place to grow blueberries.

 We decided to leave the library premises and show to interested farmers an experimental field with blueberries. That is an opportunity to exchange experiences and remove all doubts about the cultivation and marketing this fruit.

On Sunday, 22 September, a lecture on growing blueberries was hosted at the farm of Dusan Zivkovic, who started growing blueberries in May 2012. He is a farmer from the village of Lovci. He planted 250 blueberry seedlings on a plot of 15 acres. He planted them for his own needs. After the lecture on blueberries in Bagrdan, he found out that it was possible to sell the entire crop through agricultural cooperative Prima borovnica from Belanovica and learned about the advantages of starting this business. He met lecturers, who were already engaged in this type of business and helped him improve his production. Realizing the benefits of it, he decided to expand his production to another 60 acres of land. He already prepared the field for planting which will occur during autumn.

The transport to Lovci was organized. Farmers expressed interest in such education.  There were 41 of them. Besides the host Dusan Zivkovic, the speakers were Gvozden Dzelatovic and Nenad Petrovic, also blubbery growers who in cooperation with Prima borovnica, participated in all lectures for farmers in rural libraries in the Jagodina municipality, within the project Agricultural libraries in Jagodina.

Gvozden Dzelatovic said after the lecture: „I think that the presentation was very successful since people were listening attentively and asked questions. I saw on people’s faces that they were interesting in finding out more. They asked about land preparation for planting, money needed for a completing the cycle of planting, selling and profit. Some of them very discouraged after hearing the costs of running a business, but there were those who asked about planting a smaller number of plants, and even those like Dr Vesna Jarkin who wanted learn more and is preparing land and everything else for starting the business.
Anyway, it is good to discuss this and similar topics, during lectures through the media.”

„ I am getting ready to plant blueberries and I am preparing land for it. I heard the information regarding the visit to the experimental blueberry field on a local radio station and I immediately signed up for it at the library. I talked with Nenad about the system of drip irrigation. This visit helped me to see the irrigation system on site and find about other details of this fruit cultivation “, said Dr Jarkin.
Jelena Rajic, a librarian and a coordinator of the project, said after the lecture: “This is a good way of educating people. On the bus, on our way back I was very happy to hear the famers making comments and summarizing what they heard and saw at the lecture. Farmers praised this initiative by the library and suggested organizing similar visits to other farmers’ experimental plantations of various crops.

„In Serbia there is a network of 311 rural libraries and only five of them, which are in the Jagodina municipality, are at a service of residents in local communities. The project of Agricultural libraries can be a model how to educate and introduce information literacy to people in rural areas in Serbia. The topic of the IFLA Conference, the biggest library conference in the world, was Future libraries, infinite possibilities. The project of development of rural libraries by the Jagodina library was presented at this conference as an example of the Library of the future”, explained Vesna Crnkovic, the director of Jagodina library.



Thursday, September 19, 2013

AgroLib market member sold 1 ton of pears through online AgroLib marketplace

.Miodrag Jevtic,a farmer from the village of Milosevo is another farmer who successfully uses AgroLib marketplace. The librarian in Bagrdan library was very excited to hear his story of how he managed to sell his pears.

"I have a registered farm-a pear orchard with 963 seedlings on 50 acres that I planted in 2010. I lost my job and that is how I started doing agriculture. I do almost everything by myself. I decided to plant pears because my orchard was not very big and I had to opt for agricultural production that would provide me with decent and economically viable yields. 

I registered on Agrolib marketplace, but did not expect much. I simply could not believe that it would be possible to sell pears through the Internet. One day, there was this man from Krusevac calling me because he needed pears for making brandy. He ordered a ton of pears from me. It was my pleasure to do business with him. There were people who wanted to order 5 wagons of pears, but unfortunately I could not meet their demand because I am still a small producer. In the near future, I will try to expand my production."

Such stories of AgroLib users show that the AgroLib makretplace really meets its purpose. We are sure that there are a lot more farmers who use the online marketplace successfully, but their examples do not reach us.


The link to Miodrag's AgroLib profile: