Albania has important untapped potential of its agricultural production sector, particularly that of tomatoes, which could be a considerable source of income for farmers, according to a World Bank report.
The agricultural sector in Albania is grappling with a myriad of problems. These include inefficient farming methods, distribution problems, low subsidies, rising fertilizer prices and competition from foreign products. While the country is home to a large number of farms and plenty of fertile land, its farmers continue to struggle.
But the report found that Albanians sometimes significantly undersell their produce, including the humble tomato. Exports from the country stand at $0.5 per kilo while Italy exports the same product to the UK at $2.4 per kilo.
The report suggests that Albania should consider selling its products in more developed markets such as those in Western Europe, because in terms of international standards, Albanian products can be competitive.
He notes that export companies and the Ministry of Agriculture should strive to obtain the necessary certifications in order to increase farmers’ incomes, instead of many operating at a loss.
Other products identified by the World Bank as possible sources of income for Albanian farmers include canned fish, nuts, fruits, watermelons and olives.
The Albanian Agribusiness Support Agency, FAO, Center for International Development at Harvard University and EU national aid agencies have rated these products as having great potential for export.