Agriculture is a priority. Seems like a cliché but data shows that the Albanian agricultural sector is developing. According to INSTAT, economic growth is not the only positive factor, employment figures for this sector arevery positive too.
According to data published for the third trimester of 2014, the number of employees in the agricultural sector has increased with 9.65 percent, compared with the same period last year. INSTAT reports that during this period, 43.1 percent of the employees were engaged in the agricultural sector. INSTAT also reports that the total of employees has grown with 8.18 percent, compared with the third trimester of the last year. Yearly increase was registered also in the sectors of industry and services. The industry sector has recorded approximately 9.7 percent growth, where 22 percent is the employment growth in the processing industry sector. In the services sector, it has been recorded a 6 percent growth.
The new development schemes for agriculture aim to bring double production and employment opportunities. According to Prime Minister Edi Rama the government aims to create a new relationship with farmers and production. Prime Minister Rama said that the government will not support the agriculture of survival, but sustainable rural development. “It is important for everyone to know that we are ready to help those who want to participate in this important struggle, which will take us from the medievalvillage to the capitalist village. Capitalism in the sense of new relationships of production and new relationships with the government. We will finance more the schemes which bring success, which bring revenues, which bring exports and which do not deal with the allocation of money here and there, which get lost in the river of survival.
From the other side, the increase of exports which continues to consolidate as a trend this year, is a clear sign that we are on the right track. Next year, with the budget of 2015, we will double the financing schemes, we will double the finances put in the disposition of entrepreneurs and we call upon others who have not yet turned to the villages, which have spent these 20 years in construction, to invest their savings and deposits, which now are taxed even more, for the agricultural development.” Said the Prime Minister.
Strategy for agriculture, 9000 new jobs until 2020
According to the Intersectoral Strategy for Rural and Agricultural Development 2014-2020, the employment market is dominated by the agricultural sector, which will remain an important employment sector even in 2020. The objectives of the government for the agricultural sector are:
• creating 9000 employment opportunities in the agroproccessing activities for the period 2012 -2020
• creating 50-100 microenterprises and 500– 1000 new employment opportunities in the rural areas, through diversification activities which bring revenues
• creating 5000 employment opportunities in nonagricultural activities and other services
• boosting employment opportunities and creating sustainable opportunities for employment through development policies and subvention of the initiatives which increase employment
• decreasing the poverty level, through supporting social policies for the part of population in need;
• social participation of individuals and social groups in need, through increase of access in the labor market and their integration in the social and economic life
• ensuring equal participation of girls and women, men and boys in the social, economic and political life and economic empowerment of women
According to this strategic document, female employment in the agricultural sector is higher compared to males. The percentage of females leading farms in 2012 was 6.5 percentcompared with 5.5 percentin 2007 (55 percent of the total employment force in agriculture is made of women), which means that opportunities of new gender oriented subvention schemes, could be considered.
Minister Panariti, during the conference “From the agriculture of survival to the agriculture of development”defined agriculture as a new welfare engine, which requires support for increase, development, agroproccessing and exports. According to Minister Panariti, this is the only way to increase revenues of the farmers, of the national economy and to create employment opportunities for thousands of people.