May 15, 2019 – A series of Value Chain Matchmaking Events was initiated to foster cooperation between Partner Financial Institutions (PFIs) and Agribusinesses in Albania for improved Agricultural Value Chain Development.
The “Albanian Agribusiness Support Facility” (AASF) organized the first meeting between Agribusinesses and PFIs on May 15th in Lushnje. More than 40 representatives from PFIs (Raiffeisen Bank, Otp, ProCredit Bank, Intesa SanPaolo Bank and Fondi Besa), EBRD, local government institutions and agribusinesses specialized in the cultivation of watermelon and greenhouse vegetables, operating in the Lushnja area, participated in the meeting. AASF presented the “AASF Value Chain Finance Guide” and the AASF sectoral study “Horticulture Cluster – Greenhouse vegetables and Watermelon” highlighting the potential and opportunities of this sector in the Lushnja area.
The activity started with a presentation from the AASF deputy team leader, Mrs. Adela Leka, who emphasized the opportunities for funding agribusinesses and technical assistance provided through this project and European Union schemes. Mrs. Leka informed the participants that AASF is an innovative instrument that aims to motivate Financial Institutions to fund the value chain of agribusiness.
The representative of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Mr. Neritan Mullaj, also present in the activity, introduced agribusinesses with the EBRD Small and Medium Enterprises Consulting Program, emphasizing that the Bank (EBRD) offers more than just funding. Mr. Mullaj stated that the EBRD offers business advice to small and medium businesses aiming at further growth and further development and invited these businesses to apply for this Program.
The agenda continued with technical presentations on “Value Chain Finance” and “Horticulture Cluster – Greenhouse vegetables and Watermelon” held by AASF experts, who described the potential and opportunities of this sector in the Lushnja area.
During the questions and answers session, participants had the opportunity to find out more about the project and how to benefit from the initiative. Farmers, businesses and financial institutions were also invited to expose their products and services in the booths provided in the space near the lobby.
The next meeting among agribusinesses and financial institutions will take place on 17 May in Fier, with the participation of dairy and meat businesses.