MKF LIDER Visited the Winner of Competition “Our Treasure 2019” – Emir Zjajo, “Hadžijin mlin” Donji Vakuf
On 19th April 2019., MKF LIDER visited and awarded the 500 KM prize winner, proud, young and hardworking owner of “Hadžijin mlin”, Mr. Emir Zjajo.
We believe that many of you have already heard about “Hadžijin mlin” and the incredible and inspirational story of young and hardworking Emir Zjajo from Donji Vakuf. Lacking the job, after graduating from college, Emir Zjajo, graduated PTT and communications engineer, decided to, with great support of his wife Lejla, take the initiative and put into operation the old watermill “Hadžijin mlin”, and thus secure the existence for himself and his family. Since the watermill is located in their backyard and is owned by his wife’s family, they decided to revive the tradition and start up the watermill, knowing the fact that the demand for domestic food and eco-food is constantly increasing. Emir’s idea was accomplished, and finally in 2016, the wheels of the old watermill were moved.
The watermill, or “Hadžijin mlin”, as better known in this area, has a long tradition. It was built before the Second World War and played a major role in feeding of local people. During the last war, the mill was devastated. After the war, Lejla’s grandfather rebuilt the mill and restarted it. The mill was in function until the grandfather’s death in 2009. After that, the mill has not worked until the young couple decided to revive the tradition. Since Emir and his wife Lejla had neither knowledge nor experience of working in the mill, their aunt Uma, who had worked in the mill as a little girl, has trained them in the skills of this traditional craft.
The mill capacity is not large because only one millstone is currently in function. It mills different sorts of cereal such as: wheat, corn, buckwheat, barley, rye, oats and sometimes white corn. During the 24 hours it can grind some 50 kg of wheat, 80-90 kg of corn and 30 kg of buckwheat. Emir Zjajo buys organic cereals from small producers from Bugojno. Grain milling service is not charged in cash but compensated by retaining 1 kilo of flour for 10 kilos of milled grain instead.
His plans for future include the mill’s capacity expansion by construction of separate room and installation of additional millstone for gluten free flour grinding, being in greater demand year by year. Along with the mill, hardworking Lejla and Emir have planted 600 m2 of raspberry, sort Vilamet, they use for production and selling of jams and juices. As to the competition “Our Treasure 2019”, organized by MKF LIDER and Farmer.ba portal, Emir Zjajo says: “Thank you for the award that will be of great help, besides the cash prize, through the participation in the competition, all producers are rewarded because we all had the opportunity to promote our products to a greater public.”
Products of the watermill “Hadžijin mlin” can be found in the following sound food shops: On-line portal Farmer.ba, The healthy food house “Ekolife” Mostar, “Bosanska kuća” Zenica, “Sehara” Travnik, “Bio špajz” Bratunac”, “Slatka kuća” Visoko, as well as at various eco – fairs and markets in Bugojno and Jajce. MKF LIDER wishes all the best to Emir Zjajo and his family in their efforts to revive and preserve the tradition.