Agribusiness industry in Kosovo is growing very rapidly and with significant contribution in the Kosovo economy. Agriculture sectors such as livestock and food industry are priority in the development of our country. According to statistics by KTA (Kosovo Tax Administration), it shows that in Prizren region 200 agribusiness enterprises (food production) run their activity. This number is expected to grow in the future, despite the effects of the global crisis and decreasing demand in Kosovo.
Any form of business (in all of the food chain), in rural areas or not, that brings economic and social benefits for local residents and which enables the interaction between production resources and the population’s needs for food, can be defined as Agribusiness enterprise. These enterprises are diverse and can include all companies that find themselves in the system of agribusiness; industries providing inputs for agricultural farms, agricultural farms, and industries processing agricultural products, industry that market these products and all stakeholders (businesses) that make it possible to move the product to the final consumer. Agribusiness enterprises are guided by experience, are developed especially in areas that are relatively populous and focus more on areas that have significant agricultural production activity (the case of Prizren and surrounding municipalities) Just finding out an immediate need for Agribusiness management specialists, University of Prizren (UPz) undertook the initiative of opening a new study program in Agribusiness. Graduates of this program, which is oriented mainly by the agribusiness economy and its direction, will be the future leaders of the increasingly growing agribusiness industry in the Prizren region.
Considering the above, but not only, the goal of the opening of the new course of first cycle studiesBachelor, in “Agribusiness” profile, is for students to obtain sufficient knowledge and be able to contribute as part of the rural community to the good use of productive opportunities and the management of Agribusiness, which beyond short term are beneficial to themselves as well as for families in rural areas. An Agribusiness system that works well provides direct and indirect benefits to all stakeholders involved, including farm families.
Following the first Bachelor cycle in “Agribusiness” profile, will give them a better opportunity to find themselves involved in entrepreneurship and management of agribusiness activities. Requirements for this study profile will be increasing, because in general, Agribusiness is the basis of economic development prospects in developing countries such as the case of Kosovo.
UPz so far has had an Agribusiness study profile within the Faculty of Economics, where students of the Business Administration department in the third year had the opportunity to select two profiles, one of them has been Agribusiness. But given the needs of labor market for genuine Agribusiness specialists, UPz find it necessary opening a new study direction such as Agribusiness. We need to make it clear that in our university space lacks such an authentic course of studies, while international experience, but also countries that have an economic status comparable to that of Kosovo (case of Albania), shows that such study profiles are very much present and highly required.
For this reason, during the drafting of the study curriculum we have been consulting with many universities programs abroad that have similar study areas, such as the University Brno, Czech Republic; University of Nitra, Slovakia and Agricultural University of Tirana, Faculty of Economics and Agribusiness. Ukshin Hoti University has the necessary basis for drafting and implementation of this curriculum; because the advantage of leading, developing and proposing for accreditation this curriculum, is based on the indisputable need that agribusiness system in the region of Prizren and also in Kosovo has for young specialists in this field.
Supposed/possible student’s employment after completing the studies
Graduate students at the first studies level in the “Agribusiness” program, have the necessary qualifications to work in a number of areas such as:
Management of enterprises that provide inputs to agricultural farms Companies/businesses involved in the provision of seeds, fertilizers, agricultural machinery. These companies require specialists who have managerial, marketing, finance and accounting knowledge, as well as basic knowledge in terms of crop and animal production, knowledge that we pretend our graduate students in Agribusiness to possess and be able to apply.
Management of market oriented agricultural/livestock farms Many oriented market farms (selling over 50 % of their production in value) are interested for specialists/managers who are knowledgeable in the areas of agriculture and livestock production, management and marketing of their products. They are also concerned about the competencies and skills in finance and accounting of their farms.
Management of agricultural products processing enterprises Many agricultural products processing and food production companies have an immediate need for agribusiness specialists/managers, such as those specialized in vegetable processing, meat processing, milk processing, fruit and grapes processing. Students graduating in this study direction can serve in the company as general managers, marketing directors, sales agents, financial specialists as well as accountants.
Various governmental agencies Graduate students in “Agribusiness” are capable and worthy of respect (in terms of knowledge gained) to work in governmental institutions (eg relevant ministries dealing with agriculture or economic development in general or other agencies which focus on rural development in general and the development of the agribusiness sector in particular). Institutions and public agencies need specialists with knowledge in agribusiness management, marketing or finance of agribusiness enterprises. Other basic knowledge in the field of crop production, animal and horticultural completes the future specialists we aim to prepare with this new diploma.
Microfinance and banking system Based on the fact that graduates in Agribusiness also gain knowledge about microfinance agencies and banking system, they may very well find themselves as employees in these institutions. Particularly is worth mentioning the great possibility that these specialists will have to be employed in microfinance agencies that can or will operate in Kosovo in support of the development agricultural sector in general and agribusiness in particular. They can be employed in these institutions as well as credit analysts or managers of different levels.
Policy-making level Graduates in Agribusiness can continue their career, and being engaged at the policy-making level of agricultural development in Kosovo. With the knowledge gained during their studies they can be competent to be active participants in this process. This would mean membership of the working groups for the drafting of the relevant ministries of agriculture or employees in other departments with direct or indirect link with policy-making.
Other public or private institutions There are many career development opportunities for graduate students in the field of agribusiness. Students can work for insurance companies and especially those that include in their portfolio and agriculture insurance. They can develop their careers as private entrepreneurs in agribusiness, can be self-employed as agribusiness consultants and assist entrepreneurs and agribusinesses with business-plans and also with management or marketing consulting. They can also be employed as specialists for various government bodies and NGOs dealing with rural and agricultural development issues, and in more particular with agribusiness development.