December 02, 2020 – EBRD Advice to Small Businesses (ASB) program, funded by EU Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility in collaboration with “Albanian Agribusiness Support Facility” (AASF) and Risi Albania, a project of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC, organised a webinar on “Agribusiness in Albania: From Certifications to Agriculture Contracting”
More than 150 participants attended the online event. Among them Albanian agribusiness companies, financial institution representatives, industry experts and representatives from governmental and donor institutions.
AASF, ASB, Risi Albania experts and representatives from business community presented key information on supporting programs opportunities for agribusiness in general and Fruits, Vegetables and Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MPA) sector Albanian export companies in particular.
The purpose of this Webinar was to promote International Certifications in the Agribusiness sector and to discuss the importance of “Contract Farming” as well as Good Agricultural Practices according to international standards (Global GAP).
Ms. Adela Leka, AASF’s Deputy Team Leader, presented AASF program opportunities and emphasized the importance of the program in supporting the Albanian agricultural sector and all its sub-sectors: “AASF provides access to finance for the agribusiness sector in two ways: senior loans and/or portfolio risk sharing to both MFIs and banks. The institutions benefit from a first loss risk cover that was made available by the Government of Albania. AASF represents an innovative financial instrument to encourage lending by financial institutions to the whole agribusiness value chain.” – stated Ms. Leka.
Mrs. Ardiola Hristic, Principal Manager EBRD Advice for Small Businesses, presented the participants with the opportunities that ASB provides for agribusinesses that want to expand and grow: “EBRD’s Advice for Small Business Program, offers more than just financial support opportunities for agribusinesses. EBRD provides business advice for small and medium-sized businesses, including business planning, marketing, financial management, HR and quality assurance standards preparatory assistance.” – stated Mrs. Hristic
While, Mr. Stephan Joss, Director of Risi Albania project, focused more on the certification and contract farming side, by emphasising what the Swiss project assist this community with mostly focusing on technical assistance such as job creation, mediation and qualification.
Represented by Mr. Ejup Ahmeti, “Doni Fruits”, one of the beneficiaries of AASF, was among several businesses that participated in this webinar, by presenting the audience its good agricultural practice when comes to Global GAP.
Additional experts Mr. Drini Imami, PHD (Moderator), Mr. Frankie Whitwell, Mr. Emiland Skorra, Ilirjana Gjana and Mr. Agim Rrapaj, further elaborated the needs and opportunities of the exporting Albanian agriculture products and potential foreign markets.
To see the full webinar video please visit the link https://youtu.be/cUaWPhff4lM on the AASF YouTube channel.
More than 6,000 farmers and agribusinesses in Albania so far have benefited from the AASF program, a financing framework developed by EBRD in cooperation with and support from the Government of Albania.