Guided by the motto that when life offers you a lemon, you should make lemonade, the Tutin municipality decided to use what they have. Nature made them abundant with medicinal herbs and forest fruits, and the local authorities saw this as a chance for economic development.
A project involving the collection, purchase and processing of these fruits and plants is ready, a project idea and planned activities have been prepared and described. It was explained why this was the project where public and private sector should cooperate. They went a step ahead so certain way of risk distribution between public and private sector has been defined and economic sustainability explained.
Namely, Tutin is grouped among “the tallest” municipalities in Serbia with an average height of 1000 meters above the sea level.
- And when we consider another data that in a diameter of 100 km there is no polluter, we come to the conclusion that the territory of our municipality is perfect for planting diverse and the most quality kinds of medicinal herbs and forest fruits – says the head of Tutin.
As they in the Tutin municipality say, it takes six months to implement the project. When it comes to investment, it is planned that public sector invests USD 50.000 and the private should participate with USD 100,000.
Locations provided for points of purchase and treatment plant
Up till now, in this area, only pre-buyers have been purchasing and then selling raw materials to the buyers from other cities engaged in their processing.
The Tutin municipality and the local agricultural cooperative have therefore provided locations for the points of purchase in all five local centers and Tutin in order to meet the needs of the people collecting medicinal herbs and forest fruits so they could deliver collected raw materials to a buyer at the lowest costs and in the easiest way.
Thus, a location for a potential investor that would build a treatment plant for medicinal herbs and forest fruits has been prepared. Property relations have been settled because locations for purchase points as well as the location for construction of the treatment plant are all owned by the municipality.
- So far, there have been talks with all interested collectors of treatment plants and forest fruit when it comes to organizing points of purchase and organized purchase, which was very well received – Tutin representatives say.
If a private investor emerges, the project implementation could start immediately. It would automatically increase the employed number in the municipality, especially in rural areas, since people from this area mostly in this business. Thus, families who collect herbs and forest fruits would earn the most since one of the project objectives is to reach as high purchase prices as possible.
As stated in the project that eKapija has had the opportunity to see, it is very profitable in the economical sense “because both herbs and forest fruits are very popular in the pharmaceutical industry and other industries for use in the production of drugs, tea and other healing drinks”.
- Since Tutin is very rich in this raw material, implementation of this project in our municipality is very profitable – municipal representatives claim, adding that another important reason why it should be invested in this project is that there is no competition in this field.
It would, as they say, automatically reflect on quality and raw material purchasing price.
The project in Tutin has been selected as one of the best eight projects at the competition "Public-Private Partnership as Development Potential," implemented by the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED) and supported by the USAID sustainable local development project.