European Commission promises funds for Albanian farmers and agro-businesses

European Commission promises funds for Albanian farmers and agro-businesses

Tirana, February 19, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Administration of Waters, Edmond Panariti has been promised by the European Commission the allocation of financial funds for Albanian farmers.

Mr. Panariti has received senior representatives of the Enlargement Directorate at the European Commission and General Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development at the European Commission.

Mr. Panariti met with Gerard Kiely, head of the Aid unit prior to Accession for agriculture and rural development, General Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development at the European Commission, Marius Lazdinis, program manager at the General Directorate of Agriculture at the EU (IPARD unit), Dick Van Dijk, Auditor from the General Directorate for Agriculture at the European Commission and Johan Hesse, program manager for EU policies in Albania.

The meeting discussed on the steps that will be taken to absorb as many EU funds as possible, destined for Albanian agriculture in the framework of IPA program (funds prior to accession for 2014-2020).

European Commission officials demanded the expansion of the Agency of Payments and the training of the staff of this agency which will deal with the payment of EU funds for farmers.

The aim is for this agency to be accredited or be certified by the European Commission for the use of funds which will be destined for Albanian farmers.

Minister Panariti says that there will be maximum engagement to increase the ability to absorb funds and to increase the number of applicants who will benefit these funds in order for them to invest them in their farms or agro-industry. /ibna/