On policies in support of agritourism and networking of national and regional actors
On Thursday, September 29, a national workshop was organized in Tirana on the topic of Policies in support of agritourism and networking of national and regional actors. The project “Support for the sustainable development of agritourism in Albania” is supported through the projects of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and is implemented by the Rural Associations Support Program (RASP).
The workshop was focused on the following objectives:
- To present preliminary findings from local and regional workshops, as well as the assessment of the current legal and institutional framework, and specifically to identify lacks and gaps in the legal and institutional framework and present recommendations for local, regional, and national policies for the development of agritourism.
- To identify areas of cooperation between agritourism stakeholders, and to promote networking of local and regional stakeholders in support of agritourism and establish ATN and define its objectives.
This workshop was attended by: representatives from public institutions such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, the Agricultural Technology Transfer Center (QTTB) Fush Krujë, AREB (Regional Agricultural Extension Agency) Tirana and Shkodër, the Municipality of Belsh and Permet, representatives from organizations such as GIZ (German organization), VIS Albania and CESVI (Italian organization), ADAD Mountain (Organization of Agriculture Development in Mountain Regions), representatives of agritourism subjects, also representatives from the Agricultural University of Tirana (UBT).
Petrit Dobi (Director of RASP) opened the workshop and then continued with the presentation of the participants.
In his speech, the FAO Representative in Albania, Arben Kipi, emphasized the importance of agritourism in the agriculture and rural development sector, which gathers small farmers and typical and organic Albanian products. “Sustainable agritourism is a stimulant for these areas, diversifying income, creating jobs, and revitalizing local economies,” said Kipi. Adding that there is a need to improve the legal framework to develop sustainable policies, and the possibility of creating an agritourism network at the local level, offering successful business models.
Present at the meeting, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Enio Civici, spoke about the development of agritourism in Albania, which has taken a big leap in the last five years thanks to the energy and great desire of the actors to develop, as well as support given by the government through national funds and IPARD from the European Union. More than 70 such units have been supported, an initiative initiated by the Minister for Agricultural and Rural Development, Frida Krifca, which will continue with further support in creating a direct link between agritourism and local products, whether agricultural or livestock, also in infrastructure and legal framework. He added that the main attention has been given to the certification of products of origin with impact on the areas where they are produced, which empowers small producers and ensures the functioning of the value chain, from land to table.
During the workshop were presented:
- Good practices, thematic areas, and their use in agritourism
- Needs, challenges, and policies for development of agritourism, with a special focus on agrobiodiversity
- Establishing agritourism networking in Albania: potentials and challenges at the local and national level.
At the last part of the workshop, discussions and recommendations were made in which the participants gave their contribution, and these contributions will be included in the material “Legal framework and public policies to promote an integrated development of agrotourism through the valorization of agrobiodiversity”.