Swiss contribution joins German cooperation to boost Albania's sustainable rural development

Press releases, 08.06.2023

A 4 million Euro contribution by Switzerland will support agricultural innovations throughout Albania alongside the Sustainable Rural Development project together with GIZ Albania and the ministries of agriculture and tourism. 

Albania's Minister of Agriculture Frida Krifca speaking at the launching of the Sustainable Rural Development
Albania's Minister of Agriculture Frida Krifca speaking at the launching of the Sustainable Rural Development project. © GIZ Albania

On 8 June 2023, the second phase of the project Sustainable Rural Development, funded by the German and Swiss Governments and implemented by GIZ Albania, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Tourism and Environment was launched at the premises of GIZ Albania Office.

The project aims to increase competitiveness and income in rural areas throughout its implementation in the next four years (2023-2026), contributing to the overall sustainable development of the country. Working closely with Albanian businesses and government, the project will support development policies and innovative practices in agriculture and rural tourism, promoting green growth, digitization and diversity, in alignment with the country's EU accession process.

Agricultural production lies at the heart of the project's focus, with an emphasis on greenhouse vegetables, fruits, and dairy. Through initiatives such as the adoption of biological pest control methods, the aim is to improve the quality and quantity of their production.

In her speech, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Frida Krifca said that the second phase of the "Sustainable Rural Development" project provides farmers with an additional tool to increase farm productivity.

In parallel with the support given in the agricultural sector, the project aims to promote rural tourism, focusing on agritourism, outdoor sports and destination management.

"We have started communications with ITB BERLIN, the world's largest tourism fair, for Albania to be the country of honor in 2025, which translates into a series of activities from 2024 to 2025, and I invite partners to support us in this new project", said the Minister of Tourism and Environment, Mrs. Mirela Kumbaro.

The project will support building successful pilot models in both sectors, with the aim of further replication throughout the market.

The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Peter Zingraf mentioned some of these models such as biological control in greenhouses or innovative tourism platforms, with the aim of improving tourism products everywhere in Albania.

While the Deputy Head of the Swiss Mission in Albania, Dr. Patrik Meier emphasized the importance of cooperation between donors and the Albanian government for sustainable rural development in Albania.

The event concluded with a presentation of certified local products and value-chains of fruits, vegetables and dairy supported by GIZ Albania in the last four years.