TIRANA, September 3
Albanian agriculture continues to be the sector with the highest weight in the Albanian economy, with around 19% of the total GDP, whereas the production is concentrated mainly in the milk and vegetable products. According to data, published by INSTAT on Monday, September 2, titled ‘The index of prices for agricultural products’, vegetables made up 58% of total agricultural products in 2018.
The weight of vegetables in the total of agricultural products has had a quick increase, especially in the last decade, because of the urge that came from the demand for exports. After the vegetables, the production of milk and meat has had the biggest weight in the agriculture sector with 19.1% per each. Being a country with steep terrain, Albania has high potentials for the breeding of farming, and its products, but the restrictions in exports of Albanian animal products to E.U., has made this sector to still be underdeveloped.
The meat production also took third place in the total of agricultural production, with around 19% in 2018. Besides meat, milk, vegetables, and fruits, the other parts of agriculture, such as grapevines, olives, citrus, and industrial plants, have a very small weight. Albanian agriculture still suffers from the fragmentation of agriculture soil, where the farmer finds it difficult to create a scaling economy. At the same time, the agriculture sector has suffered a lack of sustainable politics, to urge the development of the sector. The farmers continue to plant in an unorganized way and are not oriented with the regional trade or beyond.
Agriculture is the least paid sector in Albania. An individual employed in this sector, has on average a salary under €290, almost less than 30% of the average wage in the country. Nonetheless, Albania has the highest percentage of people of the labor force in agriculture compared to the other countries in the region. According to data by the World Bank, almost 40.2% of the labor force belongs to the agriculture sector. Whereas in countries, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, the labor force in this sector is only 19.2%, in Serbia 19%, North Macedonia 16.4%, and in Montenegro only 7.6% of labor force work in the agriculture.
Unfortunately, although there is a considerable percentage of human resources in this sector, they are unproductive. Compared to other countries in the Balkan region, the value-added for each employee in the economy is the lowest. In Albania, the value-added in the economy is 5 times smaller than in Montenegro, which has the lowest percentage of employed people in this sector, based on data by the World Bank.