It was another full day in Kosovo! We started the day off by visiting with the President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci. There was great discussion around the success of the Iowa-Kosovo partnership and plans for the future. Once our meeting was completed with the president we traveled to an archaeological site. We were able to see roads, churches, tombs, etc. that were built by the Romans. We were also able to get a good look at the soil profile, wheat, and corn in the surrounding area.
We enjoyed another spectacular lunch outdoors at a country themed restaurant visiting with folks from USAID about agriculture projects in the northwest region of Kosovo. Following lunch we traveled to see the projects they were explaining to us. We visited a young farmer producing raspberries. He had grown his operation substantially over the last couple years and plans further expansion. Raspberries are much more profitable than the traditional corn and wheat crops grown in the region. After planting raspberries they will produce for 15 years. It just takes one year to receive your return on investment with raspberries in Kosovo. After our time in the field we traveled to a processing plant that is being built for the raspberries.
Next up was a visit with the University of Pristina College of Agriculture and Vetrenary Medicine. We had a great discussion on agriculture education for their 2,000 students. Public universities in Kosovo are funded 100% by the government.
To wrap up our day of touring and visits we traveled to PESTOVA which processes potatoes into a variety of products. We found their products delicious! They are working to increase production in order to continue increasing their exports.
We rounded out a spectacular day at a backyard BBQ that was fabulous. It included a wide range of food, live music, fireworks, and a birthday celebration for our great friend Consul General Xhavit Gashi!