TIRANA, January 21
In 2019, over Lek35,300 million worth of Albanian agricultural products were exported around the world. Data from the Institute of Statistics show that during the same year, the agriculture sector contributed to 18.9 percent of Albania’s GDP. At the same time, agriculture provided 36.4 percent of overall employment.
Even though farming structures are small and fragmented, main trends have been noticed, a survey from Albania Investment Council confirms. Now, 92.6 percent of companies in the agribusiness sector consider agro-processing as a potential sub-sector for investment. According to the survey, tomatoes, fruits, and MAPs are the most important sub-sectors of agriculture in Albania in terms of export potential.
Other products considered as potentials include olive oil, honey, blueberries, strawberries, and pomegranates.
Based on the survey, Albania has 351,600 farms while the total area of arable land is 700,000 hectares. Official stats also show that fresh vegetables and medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP) led the export growth during the last years. Medicinal plants account for 11.8 percent of total agricultural exports. In 2019 MAP exports even surpassed fresh tomatoes in terms of export worth. Along with fresh vegetables and chestnuts, MAPs value chains have seen significant growth over the years.
In terms of certification, there are 81 organic certified farms in Albania. Moreover, the total land certified as organic accounts for about 648,292 hectares of forest land, of which half is dedicated to the collection of wild MAPs and about 3,250 hectares to chestnut forests. Moreover, nine percent of the certified land area consists of mostly olive groves.
Following the survey and previous reports, the Investment Council identified recommendations for the optimization of investment potentials in the agro-processing sector.
Access to finance, access to raw materials and fragmentation and lack of cooperation are considered the main key obstacles to new investments.
According to the survey, most of the representatives of exporting companies and supermarkets interviewed expressed willingness to increase domestic procurements if local suppliers could ensure higher quantities at required standards and competitive prices.
“Almost 70 percent of the interviewed companies declared that access to new/better markets is one of their most important needs, about 26 percent of the interviewed companies are facing significant difficulties in accessing markets and about 29 percent in building trust with the buyers/consumers and ensuring the reliability of foreign buyers to the Albanian product. Companies complain also about the limited guidance from public institutions on new markets and limited support for the promotion of Albanian products such as dignified representation and participation in international fairs,” the survey points out.
Read more about the survey findings HERE
Source: Investment Council