Mevlida Mehanović from the village Daljegošta, 50 kilometers away from Srebrenica, is a true example of one persistent and successful village woman.
After the last war, Mevlida, her husband and their two daughters lived in Živinice near Tuzla. However, nostalgia and love for their hometown made this family return to Srebrenica and their village Daljegošta, where Mevlida and Vahid currently live alone; their older daughter got married and the younger one is studying in Tuzla.
When they returned, things did not look that good at all, but they knew they will not give up because Daljegošta was the only place where they could see their future.
“When we saw how poor the condition of our estate is, it was difficult, but we started clearing one piece of land after another. When we cleared everything, we did not want to let it become overgrown with grass again, so we planted some raspberries. Today, we have seven thousand raspberry plants. Last year we planted one dunam of aronia and one dunam of blueberries this year,” Mevlida says.
Now Mevlida and her husband Vahid take care of seven dunams of land and she is convinced that they will not stop there. They intend to expand their plantation and they also intend to start processing the fruit. At the recently held fair of agriculture and tourism in Srebrenica, Mevlida presented their tasty aronia and raspberry jams and natural apple juice.
“Now that I made these first products, when I processed the fruits we have produced, it is clear to me that we did not make a mistake when we returned here. I wish more young people would return to the countryside. I am sure they would not regret it,” Mevlida says.
One can make a nice living at the countryside thanks to agriculture, Mevlida believes. In the coming period, she would like to purchase all necessary equipment and launch the mass production of jams and juices because there she sees a great opportunity for all agricultural producers.
“Why shouldn’t we have a finished product here, process it and sell it somewhere abroad? Here, in our village, there are many sources of water, so why not? In the future, someone might start bottling the water with the taste of fruits grown here,” says Mevlida and adds that there are many ideas and chances for young people at the countryside, and that all it takes is will and desire.