President Jahjaga attended the “Hardhfest” grape picking ceremony

President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga, attended today the “Hardhfest” grape picking ceremony held in Rahovec. This traditional ceremony was also attended by the Agriculture, Forestry and Rural development Minister, Mr. Memli Krasniqi, Mayor of Rahovec Mr. Idriz Vehapi, Chairman of the Viticulture Association of Rahovec, Mr. Afrim Sharku as well as other officials other institutions of Kosovo.

President Jahjaga also visited the Krusha e Madhe village and the Krusha Agricultural Cooperative, as part of promotion of local produce.

President Jahjaga held a speech at the “Hardhfest” ceremony, which we are publishing below in its entirety.

Honourable representatives of the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo,
Honourable Minister Krasniqi,
Mayor Vehapi,
Honourable Mr. Sharku,
Honourable participants,
Citizens of Rahovec

This is the most important feast of the season, which demonstrates a long lasting tradition of the people of Kosovo in commencing the harvest of the goods of this land, so valuable to our state.

For this reason I feel honoured to participate at this feast, a feast which is not only yours, not only of your municipality, but of all Kosovo. Thus, I become part of the tradition which delights in wellbeing of everyone.

Harvesting of grapes is not an ordinary feast and not only just a marking of a tradition of this area, but also a beginning of a prosperous year for your families and our state and our society.

For Rahovec and its people, today is a special day, a day when the work of many months, often painful and agonizing, is rounded up, work which requires care for every single grapevine, and which brings repayment and meaning to your engagements. It will also be valued for the quality of the grapes, but more for the quality of wine which your grapevines have produced.

This is why I am here with you today; we are here today, as institutions of the country, to demonstrate the importance to all of us has the care for the land work, for the agriculture and especially for the viticulture. Because, as a small country that we are, with not such a developed economy, but with wealth and natural resources, and a long tradition in working the fields, we must work our land to earn our bread.

Today is not the time to choose if we want to make Kosovo a developed country. This is our obligation and our task! Therefore, the choices we can make today are choices for investment in agriculture, in a land which lives from its land, and particularly in viticulture, a country which earns its living from it.

We must help our farmers and our grape growers; all those who work the field, and ensure the entire necessary preconditions for their work are met. We must guarantee their produce, because this ensures the survival of our citizens. And we must, above all, create conditions, for people to remain in villages, to work in their fields, and to ensure and guarantee the wellbeing of not only those families, but of all our country.

Kosovo has great natural wealth, and it can become a regional power in the field of agriculture. Its land can become the greatest produces of various agricultural products in the region, and we must guarantee the quality of our products and pave the way for their presence in regional and world markets.

And for this, we need great investments in this field of agriculture, and this will ensure further opening of new work places and sale of our products not only in regional markets but also beyond.

Institutions of the country are here to support you and all the farmers of Kosovo, to turn the country into a string producer, which looks after its land, earns its annual sustenance and guarantees its quality in order to win over the competition.

Honourable citizens of Rahovec,
This is your celebration, and at the same time a celebration of whole of Kosovo. Through this, we are opening the horizon of cooperation with the countries of South-Eastern Europe, which should build strong ties with their respective economies, which are inter-dependent. Through this we expand new opportunities in the region and build bridges of cooperation based on quality and value, healthy competition and partnership which opens opportunities for joint presence in third markets which we aim.

Today is the feast of grape and at the same time the feast of wine. The Rahovec wine which presents Kosovo abroad with dignity. And today is more than a feast in Rahovec so let us all celebrate together and delight in the goods of our blessed land, of our state. Thank you, congratulations, and let’s wrap this up with the slogan, “Cheers with love”.

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