TIRANA, June 24
Climate change is considered to be one of the main factors impacting olive production in the Mediterranean region. Other issues faced by olive growers in the region are related to phytosanitary problems.
While olive oil production in Italy and Greece fell to record-low in 2018, Albanian olive farmers saw higher yields during the same year. Yet, all olive producing countries are facing complex seasons, therefore initiatives to tackle climatic issues area needed even in Albania. Otherwise, climate change will wreak havoc on Albania’s olives harvest.
According to the data provided by the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), Albania produced 117,573 tons, or nine percent more than in 2017, Scan TV reported.
The three highest olive producing regions in Albania during 2018 were:
Berat: 37,340 tons
Fier: 31,496 tons
Vlora: 15,023 tons
According to INSTAT, the olive trees in Albania are classified in 79 percent for olive oil and 21 percent for table olives.
Albania has 12 million olive trees in production, but depending on the fact that olives tend naturally to bear fruit every other year, only half of them or six million produce.
Therefore, only six million trees are counted annually to bear fruit. Olive cultivation and olive oil production are based on family farms. Based on the data provided by the Albanian Olive Oil Association there are about 450 olive oil mills operating in the main producing regions, but only two-thirds are registered.
Almost 90 percent of those mills offer services to third parties that are farmers who bring their produce and extract olive oil in exchange of a payment. Currently, only two percent of olive oil mills work with their own brands of olive oil.
Further on, the annual per capita consumption of olive oil in Albania increased to five liters. This is the highest level among the non-European Union member countries.