TIRANA, January 3
Apple farmers in Voskop village, six km away from Korca, have not harvested their crops due to the lack of buyers. Farmer Xh. Shaholli said for Top Channel that he sold only ten percent of his annual apple crop while he stored the other part of the produce.
Shaholli said that apple farmers struggle to find a market. Currently, they are selling at Lek 15 per kg. Meanwhile, he says that the longer they store the apples the higher the rent cost.
Korca region is a top apple-producing region in Albania. Farmers even have their annual Apple Festival. While the international markets suffer apple shortage, Albanian farmers can’t sell their crops. The lack of fruit collection centers is the reason why apple farmers can’t sell their produce.
“There is no market. Public authorities don’t seem to care if we have enough income. We always sold our crops, but this year there is no demand at all. I have two hectares of apple orchards. I will throw the crop into the river,” Shaholli says.
Moreover, he added that the Ministry of Agriculture must review the subvention scheme for small farmers, as they are often excluded. According to Shaholli, only large farms were included in the subsidy scheme.
Previously, the citrus fruit farmers from Konispoli and Mursia said that they were forced to sell below the cost.
News Source: TCh