Sustainable development of agriculture sector and rural areas in Albania, challenges in the EU accession perspective

REMZI KECO1*, FATBARDH SALLAKU1, BARI MUSABELLIU1, SULEJMAN SULCE1, IRFAN TARRELI2

1Agricultural University of Tirana, Albania
2Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Albania

*Corresponding author e-mail: rkeco@ubt.edu.al

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Abstract:

Albanian agriculture and agri-food sector has been growing over the latest 10 years, at similar pace as the rest of the economy, contributing with more than 1/5 of the GDP. The sector has become more efficient in the last decade, as shown by the increasing GVA (in current EUR values) compared to the number of farms and on– farm employment. The number of agriculture holdings (farms) has decreased by 6% since 2005 (from 375,000 to 352,000). Adherence to environmental, food safety and animal welfare standard in the agricultural sector is still low. A large share of agricultural holdings fails to comply with standards due to limited financial resources to upgrade facilities and technologies and lack of awareness and knowledge on standards. There is a weak enforcement of legislation, which creates disincentive for investments for compliance with standards. The total financial support to the agricultural sector is increasing from around 20 million EUR in 2018 which marks a significant increase compared to EUR 7.3 million in 2012, and the respective fund of EUR 3.2 million in 2007. The national support schemes have contributed to an increase in the number of areas under plantation and production growth in several subsectors. Also, improved irrigation has contributed to increased productivity and resource management..

Keywords: agricultural production; farm; rural development.

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