USAID/EDGE Support for Private Sector project, implemented by International Development Group in partnership with Creative Business Solutions (CBS), is working with the private sector across the country to leverage new opportunities.

In an era of major challenges, including COVID-19 disruptions and increasing regulation related to upcoming EU accession, SPS is supporting SMEs with business support services to stay competitive. SPS is assisting agribusinesses to adjust to the ‘new normal’ by increasing the use of digital instruments and platforms, to expand their services and products into international markets.  The project has levered $140.000 of new investments so far in the first 6 months.

Three agribusinesses received access to capital through LORES, a digital loan referring system and USAID legacy platform

Success Stories

A Young Woman Entrepreneur to Increase the Pomegranate Production 

Figure 1: Ms. Ermira Disha, young entrepreneur investing in pomegranate production facility.

Ermira Disha, a young company operating in production and sale of fruits and vegetables was assisted by SPS experts with access to grant application under IPARD II Scheme. Thanks to SPS assistance, the female entrepreneur received an investment grant of $73,000 total value. The successful completion of this assistance and the award of this grant contract will enable a total investment of $110K in primary agriculture and Agri processing by the end of 2021

Access to Capital for an Apple Farmer in Korca

Figure 2: Xhentil Shaholli, a farmer from Korca in his apple production farm

Using the LORES digital platform, SPS delivered an investment loan to Mr. Xhentil Shaholli, a Korca farmer. SPS experts provided business plan support and detailed loan application information required by the bank, including financial statement, investment forecast, payment schedule, and business plan preparation.

The loan amount will be used to invest in an agricultural land in Korca. Mr. Shaholli is aiming to expand the current activity in the field of agribusiness, by building a poultry breeding farm and an egg production facility.

Toana, an Agribusiness in Berat will Expand its Greenhouse

Figure 3: Mr. Dritan Sula, owner of Toana Shpk in his tomato production facility

Toana shpk, an agribusiness in the Berat area, was provided an investment loan of $50,000 from OTP Bank Albania, referred through LORES digital platform. SPS experts provided various services to Dritan Sula, the owner of Toana, including detailed loan documents required by the bank, investment plan preparation, and financial advisory.

The beneficiary will invest in the expansion of the greenhouse facility, where he currently plants fruits and vegetables. The farmer will increase the quantity of production, resulting in revenue business growth.

SPS provides Global GAP Certification to one large Albanian Agro-trader, benefiting 10 local farmers

Agro Divjaka, one of the leading Albanian collectors and export companies in fruit and vegetables was assisted by SPS in acquiring the International Food Standard Certification of Global G.A.P

Figure 4: From Left to Right, AgroDivjaka Owner Mr. Elton Bitri and Mr. Lulezim Kadiasi SPS STTA during inspection visit in the pepper’s greenhouse production facility

Agro Divjaka is now among the few companies in Albania producing fresh vegetables certified by Global Gap standards. Certification according to Global Gap standards is expected to enable the expansion of markets in countries like Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands.

Through this certification, 10 local farmers in the Divjaka area, who grow vegetables in protected environments such as greenhouses and sell their products to Agro Divjaka, have also benefited from this type of Certification through improving the quality and food safety of agricultural products, increasing the value of agricultural products and acces to EU and other value-added markets

The USAID Albania Support for Private Sector (SPS) supports private sector-led growth in Albania by helping the Government of Albania (GOA) and the private sector to improve the business enabling environment necessary to foster a climate for competitiveness, investment, and trade./