FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Albanian farmers show off local produce as part of rural sustainability drive

The city of Përmet is known as the city of flowers, wine, jams, and a compote called gliko. Local products such as these are important drivers of sustainable development and agrotourism, in how they enhance potential and opportunity for farming families. In this context, an FAO project on effective natural‑resource management has helped identify and promote local, traditional, organic, and geographical-indication products in Albania.

As part of the project, FAO organized a one-day event timed to coincide with Earth Day in Përmet – to promote local products and small-scale food producers. Other contributors to the fair, called ‘Feed your Roots’, were the Municipality of Përmet, the United Nations in Albania, the Embassy of Norway, and private partners.

The event centred around a culinary tour of typical local products in the Përmet area, involving about 60 farmers and farming families, who displayed traditional products and presented authentic recipes.

Participating farmers were enthusiastic about the opportunity to showcase their home-made, local products. “We brought Bedunica honey from Gostivisht village and I also made some traditional products of our region, liked by local and foreign tourists, such as a traditional dairy pie with herbs and turkey,” said one female farmer.

“We have chosen Përmet for this activity because it is one of the pearls of this country that offers special, high-quality products. It is a region with high potential due to its well-known traditional products,” said Arben Kipi, FAO Assistant Representative, adding that this activity is just the beginning of support that FAO and other UN organizations will provide.

The mayor of Përmet, Alma Hoxha, welcomed the activity and emphasised the role and impact of awareness raising on the sector’s development. “Events of this type bring innovation that our farmers and visitors always welcome; there is no such thing as too much innovation when it comes to agrotourism, it only further enriches the typical local products,” said Hoxha.

Within the same project, FAO has also initiated an assessment of the current state of the land with the local and central government, which will address important issues such as soil fertility, pollution, and degradation in the Përmet area, and lead to the drafting of an intervention action plan for the sustainable use of land resources.

FAO will continue to contribute significantly to Albania’s green economy with the aim of improving livelihoods and the capacities of households and natural-resource management authorities.

The project is part of the FAO Regional Initiative on managing natural resources sustainably and preserving biodiversity in a changing climate. It intends to provide support to address the interlinked challenges of climate change and sustainable natural-resource management. FAO, through various projects in Albania and as part of an additional region-wide effort, also aims to empower smallholder farmers, family farms, and youth, while facilitating rural livelihoods and poverty reduction.

2 July 2021, Tirana, Albania