In 2021, with the help of the EU4AGRI project, a yearslong dream came true for the Voćar company, that will now boost competitiveness of this company in the domestic and international markets. “Our own electricity production was a goal we set for ourselves a long time ago, but for us, it is a major financial burden to implement such expensive projects. For this reason, the support of the European Union was indeed essential; it gave us the wind to our backs to continue planning our work and development in the long run,” explains Esed Musić, the company’s owner.
The slogan of the Voćar company is “For a better taste of life!”. The company boasts more than 100 different products offered to buyers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also countries of the European Union, the United States, Australia and others.
Fifty employees are in charge of ensuring quality in the production of snacks, healthy food, but also products needed in every household such as spices, cocoa and flour. The company is known for its prunes and plums in Belgian chocolate. In the production process, Voćar consumes large amounts of electricity. In order to reduce its own costs and thus increase market competitiveness, this company has built a state-of-the-art solar power plant through the EU4AGRI project.
“Solar panels were placed on the roof surfaces of our production and storage facilities, which were ideal in terms of location and shape of the roofs. Our solar power plant occupies 1000 square meters and produces 150 KW of electricity, which will have a great impact on our energy independence,” adds Esed.
The costs of building a solar power plant were about BAM 163,000, of which funds in the amount of about BAM 106,000 were provided through the EU4AGRI project and the Voćar company secured some BAM 57,000. Now with the solar power plant, the company will meet about 65 percent of the total electricity needs. Added value of this project is reflected in Voćar company’s contribution in reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and thus reducing environmental pollution.
By using solar energy, the company will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 76 percent. “Our products are made with the help of green energy and we are very proud of our work,” adds Esed.
The results so far have been an incentive for them to opt to meet their electricity needs exclusively from renewables in the coming period. “We have more available roof surfaces that meet the requirements for the installation of a solar power plant and we want to achieve 100 percent energy independence. In this way, we would further contribute to environmental protection and our full independence,” explains Esed.
The EU4AGRI project is a four-year initiative (2020-2024) aimed at modernizing the agri-food sector, creating new jobs, as well as retaining existing ones and supporting recovery from the COVID-19 crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The total value of the project, funded by the European Union, is 20.25 million euros, and is jointly implemented and co-financed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in BiH and the Czech Development Agency (CzDA).
The EU4AGRI project has so far supported 45 investments of BiH farmers and enterprises with investments worth a total of 10.7 million KM, of which 6.3 million KM was financed by the European Union.