“Consolidation of Local Certification Fund” is the latest joint project of Albania and Switzerland, which will support Albinspekt inspectors in order to offer a more professional inspection and certification for agricultural businesses and products.
The initiative was presented by Albanian Minister of Agriculture Edmond Panariti and Swiss ambassador to Albania, Christoph Graf and its main objectives are the boost of organic agriculture and rural economy. Organic agricultural production has increased and this is having a positive impact in the growth of rural economy, which means more revenues to farmers and more bio products in the domestic market.
“Companies that offer services as gathering medicinal plants have a very positive impact in the employment of women in rural areas, which helps them and their families’ economies,” declared Minister Panariti.
The objective of this project financed by Swiss government is to help farmers in promoting their bio products by certifying them, which will make their way easier in a competitive international market. This will also ease their entering into the Swiss markets. Albania exports to Switzerland about 50 tons of certified medicinal plants, olive oil and other organic products.
“This is a very good way for Albanian farmers to enter in international markets by exporting certified and safe products as fruits, vegetables, chestnuts, helped even by Albania’s favorable climate conditions and fertile soils,” declared the director of the project, Beate Huber.
This project will be implemented in three main areas:
- Economy – the support of private sectors eases the competition of organic products and the employment of locals. Circa 3700 farmers employed seasonally in Shkodra, Lushnja and Peshkopi areas.
- Institution – Albinspekt is an accredited institution by the European Union for issuing certificates and for inspection of organic products and production. By this project have been established also the Institute of Biological Agriculture and the Albania Association of Marketing.
- Environment – The certified organic surface from the spontaneous gathering of medicinal plants and chestnuts has doubled by reaching over 250.000 hectares, about 9% of the total surface of Albania’s territory.
News source/photo credits: ATA