USAID Albania AAC Lushnja specialists helped farmers in Kafaraj, Fier to plant raspberries and blueberries plants. The purpose of the trials is to evaluate blueberry and raspberry production in order to diversify production. USAID is helping farmers to introduce local berry production to compete with pricey imports.

The USAID Albania economic growth programs for the Albanian agriculture sector through AAC Lushnja specialists are helping local farmers and in Frakull and Kafaraj of Fier to plant raspberries and blueberries.

The purpose of demonstration and cultivation in experimental plots is to evaluate the production of these plants, aiming at the diversification of production, thus avoiding the overcrowding of the market with few agricultural crops cultivated by all farmers.

USAID is helping farmers cultivate these new crops, compete on pricey imports and increase farm incomes. Albanian blueberries and raspberries that are harvested in the wild can not reach the local market, but are sold regionally especially towards the Kosovo market or end up in the European market through collectors who store them in frigid environments with a protected atmosphere.

Meanwhile, the import of blueberries and raspberries from foreign markets is very expensive and unbearable for 80 percent of Albanian consumers.

The Frakulla and Kafaraj area of Fier are considered by agricultural experts as Albania's Strawberries Land, with particularly good fertile conditions for these new highly sought-after crops in the market.

Unable to increase the production supply and harvesting of wild blueberries, the cultivation of blueberries and raspberries along with Albanian strawberries is a novelty which will bring these little good fruits closer to Albanian consumers and at affordable prices.

On the other hand, the cultivation of blueberries in Albania may well place the country in the position of exporters towards foreign markets with blueberries and soft raspberries, in addition to exports of strawberries and other fruit and vegetables./AgroWeb.org