Albanians are cultivating more vegetables and olives and less grain crops

Albanians are cultivating more vegetables and olives and less grain crops
Only vegetables, olives and other types of trees, but no longer wheat, as it used to happen in the past, when they “occupied” thousands of hectares of land in this country. This is the latest trend of the Albanian agriculture, which seems to be strengthening from one year to another. “In 2016, the country produced 1.129 tons of vegetables with an increase of 9.6% compared to a year ago”, experts say. Meanwhile, they add that the districts of Fier, Tirana and Berat are the districts where most vegetables are cultivated with an amount of 373.406 tons. It seems that farmers have seen that the profit margin on them is high, while the majority of them also export them abroad.  This seems to be the reason why they have chosen to cultivate them as part of their agricultural daily activity.

The same thing can also be said about olives, which are registering a growth in cultivated from one year to another. “In 2016, the amount of olives that was produced was 99075 tons, 3,2% more than a year ago”, experts say. Meanwhile, in the past few years, the cultivation of grain crops has seen a decline. So, if we refer to the figures, the total amount of grain crops which has been cultivated in the country has not changed much throughout the years; 143 thousand hectares in 2012, 142 thousand in 2013, 143 thousand in 2014 and in 2015, this amount was once again 142 thousand. Last year, the amount of grain crops saw a modest growth of 5 thousand hectares. This phenomenon is mainly reflected on wheat, which has seen a reduction in the amount cultivated in the recent years, compared to the extra needs of the population. Meanwhile, this amount is compensated by more imports from countries such as Serbia, Ukraine, etc.

Southeast cultivates more fruit trees than other areas

Korca, Elbasan, Fier or Berat are the districts of the country where residents cultivate more fruit trees than in other regions of the country. Such phenomenon is confirmed by the data issued by the ministry of Agriculture, according to which, the cultivation of fruit trees is lower in districts such as Gjirokastra, Lezha and Vlora. Furthermore, experts explain that the amount of cultivated fruit trees has seen an increase on a national level and this shows that farmers are more interested on them. A part of these farmers export their produce outside the country. “The total amount of fruit trees that was cultivated in 2016 was 261.754 tons or 7,6% more compared to a year ago”, experts say.


More nut trees cultivated thanks to subsidies

Subsidy policies for nut trees offered by the government a few years ago, seems to have increased the areas cultivated with this product. This is indicated by the latest figures published by the ministry of Agriculture. According to these figures, in 2012 (a year before the start of the abovementioned policies), the area cultivated with nut trees in Albania was 410 thousand hectares, while last year, this amount was 420 thousand hectares. This growth is higher in districts such as Fier with 91 thousand hectares or that of Elbasan with 52 thousand hectares. Meanwhile, the districts with the lowest amount of cultivated nut trees are the district of Kukes and the district of Vlora, with 13 thousand and 15 thousand hectares respectively.

Farmers are less interested to grow tobacco

Tobacco, which has been a much cultivated product during the communist system in our country, seems to be slowly disappearing from the lands of Albanian farmers. This is indicated by the declining figures of its cultivation, even in areas where tobacco has once been their “glory”. So, according to figures, if in 2012 the official total amount of cultivated tobacco in the country was 1.3 thousand hectares, last year, it went down to 1.1 thousand. This shows a fall in the interest of Albanian farmers for this product, while to the Albanian consumer, this product is cheaper if it comes imported from abroad.

Only quarter of the Albanian land is agricultural, most of it is woods

Only quarter of the Albanian land is agricultural land. This is confirmed by the Ministry of Agriculture, according to which, the majority of lands in the country seem to be occupied by woods. In terms of figures, experts estimate that agricultural land occupies 24% of the total area of the land. Meanwhile, forests are estimated to occupy around 36% of the total area. “The main grain crops cultivated in the country are wheat, corn and barley”, experts say in relation to “agricultural land”.


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