Agriculture in Albania
Agriculture in Albania is still a significant sector of the economy of Albania, which contributes to 22.5% of the country’s GDP. The country spans 28,748 square kilometers (11,100 square miles) of which 24% is agricultural land, 36% forest land, 15% pasture and meadow and 25% urban areas including lakes, waterways, unused rocky and mountain land. It can be separated into three main zones such as the lowland zone alongside the coastline of the country, the hill zone in the lowland and the mountain zone.
The country encompasses coastal plains in the west to the Albanian Alps in the north, the Sharr Mountains in the northeast, Skanderbeg Mountains in the center, Korab Mountains in the east, Pindus Mountains in the southeast and Ceraunian Mountains in the southwest along the Albanian Riviera. The Mediterranean Sea, which includes the Adriatic and Ionian, makes up the entire west border of Albania.
The country experiences mostly Mediterranean climate with continental influences. That means that the climate is characterized by mild winters and hot, dry summers. The warmest areas of the country are along the west, where climate is profoundly impacted by the sea. The coldest parts of the country are at the north and east, where snowy forested climate is prevalent.
In 1990, domestic farm products accounted for 63% of household expenditures and 25% of exports. As part of the pre-accession process of Albania to the European Union, farmers are being aided through IPA funds to improve the Albanian agriculture standards.
As of the Ministry of Agriculture the exports of vegetables and fruits have doubled over the first months of 2017. However, the exports of fish, seafood and marine products have also increased by 35 percent.
One of the earliest farming sites in Europe has been found in Southeastern Albania.
The main agricultural products in the country are tobacco, figs, olives, wheat, maize, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, sugar beets, grapes, meat, honey, dairy products, and traditional medicine and aromatic plants.
Agriculture accounts for 18.9% of the GDP and a large portion of the exports. However, it is limited primarily to small family operations and subsistence farming because of lack of modern equipment, unclear property rights, and the prevalence of small, inefficient plots of land. The post-1990 land fragmentation, uncertain land ownership, lack of state registries and bank crediting, and high VAT are all obstacles to a modern agricultural industry. There is also a concern that agricultural products originating from Albania are being stamped as ‘Product of Turkey’ for the international market.
The agricultural scene is gradually changing with the introduction of cooperatives, foreign investment, farmer formalization, and the construction of collection and distribution centers.
Albania has soils and a climate favorable to an extensive lumber industry. Many of the historic forests of Albania were destroyed with inefficient wood industry and expanse of agricultural land in the 1990s. Today, forests cover about one third of Albania’s land area and, due to an agreement with Italy and the World Bank, there is a large amount of reforestation underway.
Albania is the 11th largest producer of olive oil.
Source : admin