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Opinion / Editorial

"Agro Park Tirana" and the future of agriculture

"Agro Park Tirana" and the future of agriculture

A few days ago, the Mayor of Tirana and the Minister of Agriculture presented the new agro-food market in Farka, called Agro Park Tirana. During the past years, Albanian agriculture has suffered from the lack of well-organized markets for local agricultural products. Not infrequently, state initiatives and investments to support agricultural markets were not carried out at critical points and the benefit of farmers was minimal. The increase in competition from foreign markets and the weakening of the connections of the Albanian countryside with the processing industry in the country, brought, in addition to the isolation of some regions of the country, known for their agricultural crops, also a low and unsatisfactory level of income realized by farmers for their products. For many years in the past, the lack of organized agricultural markets has resulted in a chaotic and ineffective development of our agriculture. Well-organized markets of Albanian products, such as Agro Park Tirana, are organizations welcomed by our public opinion and by specialists in the field, but they are also necessary, as they will guide, protect and develop our organic agricultural production, as well as regulate the agricultural market of the country. The construction and improvement of markets brings together in a physical place, with high standards, agro-processors, collectors, sellers of agricultural raw materials, state institutions, advisers, state agronomists, who will be in these markets, together with experts in the field of financial institutions, such as banks and microcredit associations. These parks will soon become cradles of various development projects, which will also be implemented wherever and whenever there is agriculture in our country. On the other hand, citizen-consumers, who will want to spend a different Saturday or Sunday among producers, to understand how food comes to their tables, how plants grow, can teach this to their children , on a near-picnic visit to the agricultural park, despite buying goods. Agro Park Tirana, this large united market, contains several advantages. It is beneficial for the farmers themselves, as it reduces their production costs, Farmers will have the opportunity to buy the raw materials there cheaper, because they will get them directly from the first hand of the traders. They will have the opportunity to increase the sales of their products, slowly creating an economy of scale, because by coming together in this market, they will understand that it is better to produce a certain plant: for example, pepper, tomato, etc., because that is what the merchant is looking for, not only to sell it in this market, but also to export it to markets where there is more demand. This market is built not only for the consumers of Tirana, which is the biggest market we have in Albania, but it is a market that will also receive products from Elbasan, Dibra, but also from Korça and Divjaka. The strategic location in Farka was not chosen randomly by the Municipality of Tirana and the Ministry of Agriculture. It was chosen to release all that volume of products that are produced from Elbasan, from Shkodra, from Dibra, giving access to practically all farmers of Albania. Agro Park Tirana is their meeting point. Through such an infrastructure, with fairly high standards of food safety, with refrigeration capacity, where value can be added to products through processing, the opportunity is created to guarantee food safety for consumers, reducing the cost of production and therefore the price for them. This agricultural park will provide a system of transparency for the products that will be sold in this market. Just as there is an agricultural exchange abroad, for many of the food products that will be sold in this park, there will be a mini-exchange, where farmers will be introduced to the prices offered at the national level. The market will have an electronic price table, which will be updated in real time. Farmers will know, according to demand and supply, where prices beat, avoiding the many abuses that were done in the past with the farmer's lack of knowledge about the real market situation of the products they sold. This transparency system makes the market of agricultural products more competitive in Albania, reducing the commercial costs of the service for both the farmer and the consumer, as well as informing the market participants not only about the price, but also about the origin of the product. The Municipality of Tirana and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development are creating a good tradition in the marketing of organic and valuable products for the whole country, such as the late tomato of Shëngjergji, the turkey of Baldushku or the olive of Ndroqi, a tradition which is expected to it is also followed by other municipalities, as the range of agricultural and livestock products with a good name is very wide. There are 55 thousand m2 available to our farmers. 100 percent of the area for farmers and traders of agricultural products is already booked by them. The municipality of Tirana is thinking of expanding and doubling this space very quickly. Agro Park Tirana is a market specially built for farmers, who can sell their products with zero taxes, while consumers will buy cheaper organic products, controlled and certified according to European standards. In the future, there is no doubt that this market will be followed by the investment of our main municipalities and the central government in many other markets in key points, such as in Lushnjë (Divjakë), Vlorë, Shkodër and Korçë. The municipality of Tirana is thinking of expanding and doubling this space very quickly. Agro Park Tirana is a market specially built for farmers, who can sell their products with zero taxes, while consumers will buy cheaper organic products, controlled and certified according to European standards. In the future, there is no doubt that this market will be followed by the investment of our main municipalities and the central government in many other markets in key points, such as in Lushnjë (Divjakë), Vlorë, Shkodër and Korçë. The municipality of Tirana is thinking of expanding and doubling this space very quickly. Agro Park Tirana is a market specially built for farmers, who can sell their products with zero taxes, while consumers will buy cheaper organic products, controlled and certified according to European standards. In the future, there is no doubt that this market will be followed by the investment of our main municipalities and the central government in many other markets in key points, such as in Lushnjë (Divjakë), Vlorë, Shkodër and Korçë.