TIRANA, November 23
The European Union (EU) has planned 71 million Euro of grants to the rural development sector of Albania for 2016-2020. The amount may reach up to Euro 160 million with the national co-financing and own participation of farmers and agribusiness. This was said during the concluding ceremony for the program on rural development and agricultural support held on Tuesday. During the last four years, this program has provided over Euro 4.5 million for the agriculture and agroprocessing sector. More than 78 farmers and agroproducers benefited funds granted by the European Union and the German government.
EU Ambassador Romana Vlahutin said that this is a huge possibility for the rural areas in Albania as it means the creation of new jobs.
“We expect more than 2,700 new jobs, especially for young people, more than 600 projects to bring improvement of food safety standards”, she said at the closure of the EU-funded project “Support to Agriculture and Rural Development” co-funded by the Federal Government of Germany and implemented by GIZ. ”
Moreover, she highlighted that EU financing comes with obligations.
“The EU requirements in the area of the Common Agricultural Policy, Food Safety and Environmental Protection are very high and serve well the purpose of assuring that consumers have healthy and safe food,” Ambassador Vlahutin said.
On his part, Minister of Agriculture Edmond Panariti said that the project helped for increasing capacities and for learning.
“The Albanian authorities that are going to manage the scheme on agricultural support currently are in the accreditation process by the European Commission. After the conclusion of this process, the ministries of agriculture and finance are going to manage the EU’s scheme of grants for agriculture development.