Since September 2022, an Italian-Albanian consortium has been working to support and promote traditional agricultural production in the mountainous region of Northern Albania through the implementation of the Ruralbania project. The three-year project, funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, is being led by Volontari nel Mondo RTM and implemented in partnership with CIA-Agricoltori Italiani, the Region of Emilia-Romagna, ADAD Malore, AgroPuka, the Albanian Network for Rural Development (ANRD), and AREB Shkoder – the Regional Agency for Agricultural Extension.
The project aims to increase the income of small agricultural producers in Northern Albania by providing them with access to new agricultural assistance services that are in line with European best practices, opportunities for qualified professional training, sustainable productive assets, and local markets. Specifically, the project aims to increase the productivity and added value of family-owned mountain farms, particularly those run by women, younger individuals, and returning migrants, who operate in high-potential supply chains such as beekeeping, small mountain fruits, orchards, ovine, and caprine production in the Shkodra, Dibra, and Kukës regions.
- Country: Albania
- Area: Regions of Shkoder, Kukes and Diber
- Duration: September 2022 – August 2025
- Target sector: rural development, youth and women empowerment
- Target groups:
- small farms
- agricultural assistance staff
- local authority officials
- Strengthen agricultural and rural assistance services available to small producers in the mountainous areas of Shkodra, Dibra and Kukës Regions .
Training course on good European practices in agricultural assistance centers (CAA) for Albanian trade associations and institutions.
Launch of 3 pilot Agricultural and Rural Assistance Centers (CAAR).
National institutional advocacy campaign on the importance of agricultural assistance centers and the public-private partnership for the development of disadvantaged rural areas.
- Increase access to qualified professional training in agriculture by small farms operating in traditional supply chains.
Professional development and technical assistance course for trainers of agricultural support services.
Training and consulting courses for small farms.
Update course and counseling for agritourism farms in response to the crisis from Covid-19.
Release of 10 scholarships for talented young farmers.
- Increase access to sustainable assets for production and sale by small producers.
Redevelopment/fitting of storage, processing and trading assets for agricultural products (Puka Farmers’ Market, 7 mini-cheese factories in Has and Tropoja, cherry’s storage, refrigeration and trading in Dibra).
Establishment of an “Endowment Fund for Sustainable Development” to finance 55 small businesses.
Training course and technical assistance on geographical quality marks and production guidelines for trade associations and institutions.
National marketing campaign for agricultural production from supply chains and target areas.