The agreement was signed by minister Edmond Panariti and President of the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food of Germany, Hanns Christoph Eiden
Tirana, 6 May 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Edison Kurani
Germany is aiming to import fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants. For this, the Albanian Ministry of Agriculture, signed (photo) an agreement with the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Sale of Fruits and Vegetables.
The agreement sanctions a long term partnership in the sale of fruits and vegetables.
The objective of this cooperation is to enable fresh Albanian produce to get to the EU market and especially in the German market.
Mr. Panariti says that part of this agreement is also “for us to increase the presence of fresh Albanian produce, mainly fruits and vegetables, but also aromatic and medicinal plants”.
For Pnariti, to enter the German market is more lucrative than to export in the countries of the region. “The entry in this market is a great ambition, because the payment per unit is two to three times higher than the countries of the region. This is a prerequisite for the entry of our products in the German market”.
Albanian agricultural produce have not yet been affected a lot by the global phenomenon of genetic modification. However, merchants and many farmers in Albania, encouraged by the desire for quick profits, are expanding the variety of their genetically modified produce, using chemical substances which alter the appearance, shape and sale.
But if the appearance and shape are attractive, the taste changes negatively, making these products undesirable.
Given that Albania has good potential for the growth of organic products, as a country with 300 days of sunshine a year, Germans demand from Albanian authorities to encourage organic produce.
The president of the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food of Germany, Hanns Christoph Eiden says that Albania must be oriented toward organic agriculture. According to him, there’s lots of potential in the German market for organic food.
For this, Albania must soon start the process of the certification of bio organic farms.
Currently, the country has around 200 organic farms. They have a national accreditation, but in order for them to export, they must also have international accreditation, in order to be recognized as such in foreign markets.
Meanwhile, the country has 1000 hectares of green houses which are expected to be tripled in two years.
In the communist regime, Germany was one of the main importers of Albanian agricultural produce.
The author of this article recalls the end of the ‘80s, when almost all fruits and vegetables of first quality went for export in the western countries and for the communist leadership. The second quality went for the countries of the region and the third quality was distributed in the domestic market.
Germany continues to import Albanian products, but now, things have changed. If up until the ‘80s products were entirely organic, now there must be a preliminary certification, first of all to monitor for toxic residues in the production process, because agriculture uses many inputs from fertilizers. After this agreement, the inputs which will be used will only be the ones registered and used by the EU. No chemicals will be allowed from third countries, for which no guarantee exists.
Currently, Albania exports to Germany only olive oil and some other product in small quantity. /ibna/