November 17th, 2020 – The Albania Agribusiness Support Facility (AASF) in collaboration with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Advice for Small Businesses (ASB) organized a Webinar focusing on the topic of fostering sustainable development of the Agritourism sector through AASF’s Partner Financial Institutions (PFIs).
With more than 200 participants, among them Albanian agritourism and agribusiness companies, financial institution representatives, industry experts and representatives from governmental and donor institutions, AASF experts presented a state-of-the-art study about the Agritourism Value Chain in Albania as the core of the webinar. Mr. Ilir Pilku, AASF’s Senior Agribusiness Expert, introduced the AASF study on “Agritourism in Albania: Development Potentials and Financial needs” a document that sheds light on existing potentials in the Agritourism sector, explaining different public strategies, recent developments and fiscal and financial incentives for the sector.
Building on the study’s findings, EBRD ASB presented the objective and actions under the EU funded project “Tourism-Led Model for Local Economic Development Support Programme”. The presentation was complemented by presentations on support schemes and incentives for the agritourism sector provided by the Government of Albania.
Ms. Adela Leka, AASF’s Deputy Team Leader, presented AASF and emphasized the importance of the program in supporting the Albanian agricultural sector and all its sub-sectors: “Today agritourism enterprises and agribusinesses are looking for funding in addition to grants and technical assistance. They are often lacking collateral to get financed by Financial Institutions. To address this bottleneck, the risk-sharing mechanisms of AASF can cover part of the collateral-related risk to increase qualitative and efficient investment in agriculture. AASF offers various support tools to the agricultural sector and other partners in the sector” – stated Ms. Leka.
Mrs. Ardiola Hristic, Principal Manager EBRD Advice for Small Businesses, presented the participants with the opportunities that ASB provides for businesses 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.”
Mr. Eljo Muçaj, AASF’s Senior Agriculture Expert, highlighted recent agritourism success stories showcasing the sector’s potential and presented the sector’s recent trends and developments, including a comprehensive SWOT analysis.
Representatives from Raiffeisen Bank and OTP Bank, two of AASF’s PFIs, presented their financial products tailored to the needs of the agritourism sector in Albania.
To see the full webinar video please visit the link https://lnkd.in/eSqthXH 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.