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Agri 2024

Fatbardh allaku

Fatbardh allaku, Speaker at Agriculture Conferences
Agricultural University of Tirana, Albania, Albania
Title : Sustainable development of agriculture sector and rural areas in Albania, challenges in the EU accession perspective


Albanian agriculture and agri-food sector have been growing over the latest 10 years, at similar pace as the rest of the economy. Economic development in rural areas is characterized by high dependence in agriculture. The agricultural sector experiences stable growth, but with a low, yet increasing annual productivity value. Agriculture's contribution to the total economy gross value added (GVA) has stagnated at around 21% to the national GVA. In 2021, 36.4% of the total labour force (women 41.6%, men 32.7%) was in agriculture, forestry and fishing with a total decrease of over 10% during the last decade due to migration and increased productivity. The official unemployment rate in rural areas is considered lower than in urban areas but does not count the hidden unemployment in the agricultural sector which is estimated at around 25% (total unemployment rate of the age group 15-64 years was 11.5% in 2021). The agriculture production is dominated by smallholders and family farms. 85% of the farms are classified as small, with about 98% being family farms with the majority operating informal. The unchanged average size of 1.2 ha combined with fragmentation and unclear property right are major challenges for the growth and competitiveness of the agriculture sector. However, smallholders are critical for food security of the Albanian population, as well as for poverty reduction of rural areas, but are insufficiently integrated into short supply chains. 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 2015 (from 375,000 to 352,000). Livestock production accounts for the largest part (about 1/2) of the agrifood production in terms of output value and added value. Erosion, soil degradation, low levels of land-related investment and the loss of agricultural land to other uses remain persistent challenges. Projected trends in climate change for Albania indicate temperature increases of 1°C to 2°C monthly variate during the summer as well as a variability of precipitation and an increase in extreme weather events which pose serious threats to agriculture production, water availability, food security and economic growth for the majority of the rural population. This article examines the dramatic effects of the transition in general and the agricultural sector in particular on Albania’s rural landscapes in the framework of the perspectives and challenges in the EU accession process.


Prof. Dr. Fatbardh Sallaku, Prof.Dr. Erinda Lika, Prof.As. Romina Koto, Dr. Eugen Skura Agricultural University of Tirana, Albania

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