What is the key to being successful in agriculture, in Albania? In the current financial situation? There is only one answer to these questions: Financing. Good financing lubricates the chain of the agricultural links, resulting in the economic growth of the sector and for everyone else, in qualitative products. Seems like the ‘lubrication’ will start more abundantly in 2015, at least regarding support from National Schemes. The financial support for investments with grants covering 50 percent of the investment will be similar to the European Union supports and will increase with 33 percent in comparison to 2014.
In 2015, farmers who invest up to Leke 40 million in agriculture will benefit support covering 50 percent of the total investment, differing from 2014, when 50 percent of total investment support was given to investments up Leke 30 million. This is the last proposal the Council of Ministers received from the Ministry of Agriculture, which will be discussed on the following days.
Financial support for investments with grants covering 50 % of the investment value will increase with 33 percent compared to 2014
Where to invest for more financial support in 2015
Differing from last year, in the document drafted by the Ministry of Agriculture the number of Supporting Schemes seems to have decreased, but not randomly. In the Decision of the Council of Ministers published in 2014, there were 18 schemes for the improvement of the cultivation technology and protection of the plants, which include a vast variety of the agricultural activities, which in many cases were not efficient, or of interest to the applicants. Their number is proposed to shrink to from 18 to 5. The activities are planned to be organized in a more efficient structure. This decision was affected by the mixed nature of Albanian farms, which are specialized in more than one activity or product.
The removal of the financing support scheme for snail breeding, also driven from the lack of competitiveness, according to the experts is a factor of crucial importance for this year schemes.
If you plan to invest in olive groves, while thinking that you will benefit from national schemes, this will not be the right year. This year’s priority will not be planting olives but protecting them from the diseases, such as the olive fly. But you can take smarter investing decisions. Greenhouses will have priority in the supporting schemes of 2015, with financing up to 50 percent of the investment for their building or reconstructing, vegetable cultivation or sapling production.
Sustainable energy will also be an issue of crucial importance in 2015. For investments up to Leke 40 Million, in farms in favor of sustainable energy, financial support will be up to 50 percent of the investment value, or approximately Leke 20 million for a subject. Subjects which invest in the processing of animal waste and use it as a form of alternative energy will also benefit support.
What will not change is the support through subvention, in the amount of 70 percent of interest rate, for 7 years in a row, for loans up to Leke 30 million, which will undertake one of the following activities:
- Preserving and processing agricultural products, dairy, aquaculture and medicinal herbs;
- Mechanization of agriculture, dairy and aquaculture;
Which investments will benefit financial support of 5 percent?
- Investments on increasing products’ competivenes in order to guarantee stable market supply;
- Improvement of the cultivation technology and plant protection;
- Vegetable production in protected environments in order to milden the role of seasonality in market supply;
- Breeding of livestock, bees and aquaculture
- Stable supply of the market and increase of revenues for families living in the rural areas.
Priority will also be:
- Encouraging banking loans and investments in the sectors of processing, preserving and marketing of the agricultural and dairy products, birds, aquaculture, honey and medicinal herbs;
- Helping farmers get hold of machineries and fuel for securing heat of protected environments;
- Encouraging the cooperation and organization of the Association of Agricultural Collaboration.
The European Union has also estimated a fund of Euro 9 million for Albanian agriculture, in 2015. It is important to invest appropriately. Being a farmer does not only mean having a farm. Nowadays a successful farmer is the one who has managing skills, pays proper attention to health of the business finances, drafts strategic plans for business growth and thinks about growth and development.