TIRANA, October 28
The agriculture sector in Albania is facing a labor shortage, and that’s a real reason for concern. According to the Albanian Agrobusiness Council (KASH), the farm labor force shrank by 29,800 jobs during the second quarter of 2021, bringing the total number of agriculture jobs down to 416,000 by the end of June.
Referring to official data from the Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), the agriculture labor force was over 520,300 in 2012. KASH highlights low wages and the high emigration rate as the main causes why workers are leaving farming jobs.
Moreover, the expert of agriculture policies Ilir Pilku pointed out for KASH that the lack of incentives and sustainability in agriculture is one of the reasons why people from rural areas consider emigration or seasonal jobs as better options. Olive, vineyard, and citrus fruit farmers are facing difficulties to find workers. Moreover, Pilku added that profit margins are not high enough to provide competitive wages compared to the neighboring countries. The expert said that the growing trend of young people leaving rural areas and the country will worsen the situation. Thus, Pilku urged for measures to stop or mitigate the phenomenon.
Agriculture is considered the largest sector of the Albanian economy. Yet, its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been showing a downward trend. The share of agriculture in GDP was 19.2 percent by the end of 2020.
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Source: KASH newspaper, issue no. 422