The Ambassador of Sweden to Albania meets with LED project partners in Skrapar and Berat
On 11 and 12 March 2021, her excellency, the Ambassador of the Embassy of Sweden to Albania Mrs. Elsa Hastad, and her staff visited Skrapar and Berat.
This visit aimed to meet with LED project partners in Berat Region. The LED project is funded by the Embassy of Sweden to Albania and is being implemented by CNVP Albania in 6 regions, Berat is one of the regions. LED project partners in this region comprise MAP companies, MAP producers, and municipalities.
The first meeting was held with farmers who are involved in the cultivation and harvesting of wild MAPs in the village of Pronovik. Most people living in this village depend on agricultural resources and harvesting wild MAPs to secure their living. The LED project is supporting 20 farmers with seedlings of Cian, Calendula, and Mallow in the response to their needs to turn to the cultivation of MAPs for more sustainable incomes. For most of the farmers present in the meeting, it is the first time they are cultivating MAPs and they see it as a good and easier way to generate more income. These are new models to be tested and if the production and marketing costs meet the farmers’ expectations, more models will be scaled up involving more farmers too. The farmers were very happy to meet with the ambassador and grateful for the support they are receiving.
The second meeting was held at “Kalemi” company located in Corovoda, Skrapar. CNVP has entered a partnership agreement with this company in order to support farmers in this area. While CNVP is facilitating Contract Farming agreements and providing seeds and seedlings of the most market demanded MAP varieties, Kalemi Company is providing transportation and all related extension services from soil preparation to harvesting to the selected farmers. The farmers will have a secured market for selling their products. The company is highly interested to work with more farmers and appreciates the networking and support provided by the LED project.
Another meeting was held with the “Gjedra” company in Berat. This is among the biggest MAP exporting companies of herbs and medicinal plants in Albania. “Gjedra” company works with other MAP consolidators as well as farmers. Its director Gjergji Qose appreciated the collaboration with the LED project and highlighted that “the stronger the farmers, the better the businesses”. Facilitation of mutually beneficial relations between MAP companies and farmers is highly appreciated and is seen as the best way to meet market demands and standards for high-quality MAPs.
The ambassador also visited Skrapar municipality. Mr, Adriatik Mema, mayor of Skrapar municipality welcomed the ambassador and all the accompanying team. The LED project will work with the municipality to promote sustainable management of wild MAP resources as well as to facilitate renting abandoned land areas for MAPs cultivation to MAP companies and farmers so that better incomes are generated for rural communities of this municipality. The mayor appreciated the visit and the support Sweden is giving to Skrapar through the LED project as well as all the support it has provided to Albania through the years.
During the meetings with LED project partners, the ambassador emphasized the fact that Sweden has three main thematic areas of support in Albania, such as Economic Development, Democracy and human rights, and Environment and climate change issues. Sweden is supporting Albania to meet EU requirements so that it becomes an EU member through its broad range of programs and the LED project is one of them. Sweden also promotes good trade relations between Sweden and Albania as well as cultural exchanges.