Albania is clearing the way to boost its exports of fruits, vegetables, farming, food, and agro-processing industry products in 2018.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Niko Peleshi, announced Monday a 20-million euro national agricultural financing scheme for the next year to turn the Albanian agriculture into the main engine of the country’s economic development.

The new program was announced at the National Conference on Agriculture that brought together agriculture experts, government officials, policymakers and stakeholders to discuss the main challenges and agriculture and rural development policies.

The national funding scheme will mainly focus on growing the agricultural, livestock, and food exports, correcting imports and attaining food safety standards.

“Agriculture funding in 2018 will increase significantly. I‘m talking about the national agricultural financing scheme estimated at about 20 million euros, the largest ever approved to support Albanian agriculture,” Peleshi said.

“Our main goal is to increase competition, food safety and encourage farmers to diversify farming activities to develop new sources of income,” Agriculture Minister said, adding that attaining food safety standards is the key to gaining access to international markets.

The conference emphasized the importance of the creation and development of large farms in the country and the real opportunities that Albanian farmers will have through support from the national scheme of agriculture. /Burimi Ata.