Albania is situated in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Montenegro in the north, Kosovo in the northeast, Macedonia in the east, Greece in the south and by the Adriatic and Ionian Seas in the west. Over 24 percent of the land is used for agriculture.
Albania is still considered the poorest country in Eastern Europe. According to the World Bank, one-fifth of the population is considered poor, while three percent live in extreme poverty. The situation is worse in the rural areas. According to the Institute of Statistics, 58 percent of the population lives in rural areas, while 42 percent are in urban areas.
Currently, about 377,000 farms are operating in Albania. The small size of Albanian mixed domestic farms and their excessive fragmentation have caused low levels of agricultural production. This hampers the specialization of agricultural production and mechanization, and the rational utilization of inputs. As a result, low productivity, high costs and poor quality are the challenges that Albanian farmers face today.
Heifer's Work in Albania:
Heifer International was first introduced in Albania in 1995. One year later, in the spring of 1996, the first Heifer International project in Albania was implemented: the Albania Private Forestry Development Program (APFDP) supported by USAID. The first Passing On the Gift ceremony was carried out in 1997, when 18 families passed on 36 goat kids to new farmer families in Alarupi village.
After the end of the Kosovo crisis, Heifer Albania began a project in Kosovo, extending Heifer Albania’s activities.
Key Services Heifer Provides:
Sustainable Agricultural Production: Agroecological training, including native breed protection; Agrotourism
Market development: Coordinate contact between farmers’ associations and partners for the accomplishment of their economic, social and educational objectives; Advocate for the communities in regard to legislation, taxes and the marketing of farm products; Cooperate with partners to gain low interest credit for rural communities
Technology: Develop channels for transfer of technology
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