From: Alice Taylor
Albania Aims to Reach EU Target of 25% Organic Farming by 2030

Albania’s Minister of Agriculture has spoken of the country’s aim to reach the European Green Deal target of 25% of agricultural land under organic farming by 2030, noting they are confident  this can be done without the costs associated with such a transition, negatively impacting farmers.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Frida Krifca represented Albania at the 33nd Regional Conference for Europe in Poland, organised by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations.

“Albania has committed to expanding the use of organic farming methods to achieve the EU target of 25% of agricultural land for organic use…we are still far from this but with the help of various partners, we are striving to meet it,” she said.

Krifca noted that many farmers are worried that the green transition will negatively affect their livelihoods and the ability to feed people at accessible costs. She continued that it is possible to make the transition, while ensuring continued agricultural production to meet people’s needs.

“As we speak we are finaliseing our national agricultural strategy, key pillars ensuring the introduction agricultural priactices that have a lower impact on the environment while maintaining and increasing the yield,” she added, nodding to traditional agrosystems including olive planting and the sustainable use of pastures, as measures that will be introduced.

Ministers and government representatives from across Europe and Central Asia met at the conference to discuss the impact of the Russian war in Ukraine on agrosystems, but how to accelerate efforts to transform global agrifood systems. 

The aim is to facilitate better food security, inclusive and environmentally friendly development, and better nutrition.

“It is a key moment to discuss appropriate responses and to share proven solutions to support policy-makers across the region to address these challenges,” FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said in opening remarks at the Thirty-third Session of the Regional Conference.

The Europe and Central Asia region are home to more than 900 million people and is in a “good position” as a global food basket and leader in agrifood production.

The region “plays a key role in worldwide food security” and is an important “source of new ideas and inspiration for the whole world,” said Henryk Kowalczyk, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland in his opening remarks.

Krifca met with Kowalczyk while in Poland to discuss agricultural development processes that lead to EU integration.

“Poland has gone through quite important agricultural development processes in the path of integration to the European Union and their valuable experience in negotiating agricultural chapters for the approach of legislation we would like to put it into operation of our own needs, “  the minister wrote on Facebook.

She added that Kowalczyk said he supported Albania in the EU “as soon as possible” and he was on hand to provide support and expertise to her ministry.

She then met with Dongyu and it was announced that they were in discussions to hold the 2024 European Regional Conference in Tirana.