The first 61 cows were loaded aboard an aircraft at Zurich airport Wednesday and flown to Kosovo as part of a Swiss programme to help rebuild agriculture in the war-ravaged Balkan region.This content was published on September 22, 1999 - 11:53
The first 61 cows were loaded aboard an aircraft at Zurich airport Wednesday and flown to Kosovo as part of a Swiss programme to help rebuild agriculture in the war-ravaged Balkan region.
Just under 500 cattle will be flown to Kosovo’s capital Pristina in eight separate flights by mid-October.
About 400 cows and calves will be handed over to needy families and are meant to help replenish animal stocks and supply fresh milk, said the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
The remaining cattle will be donated to a government-run cattle breeding programme.
The authorities have said all the animals will be checked to make sure they are strong and healthy.
Most of the livestock will graze in western Kosovo’s Djakovica region, which has been a prime cattle breeding region before the war due to its rich pastures and abundant water supply.
The armed conflict in the Serbian province, however, has badly decimated livestock in the region, according to Swiss experts who have visited the area to asses reconstruction needs.
The cows are part of an agriculture programme that also sees the support of the Swiss Agriculture ministry and the National Farmer’s Association.
Switzerland has also financed 20 tractors and 300 tons of seeds for Kosovo.
Overall, the government has approved SFr100 million ($66.7 million) in aid for the Serbian province and has given refugees returning from Switzerland to Kosovo financial and material aid to rebuild their lives.
From staff and wire reports.
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