Fruit and vegetables a major investment opportunity thanks to favourable climate, proximity to European markets and low-cost labour

Albanian agricultural exports to the European Union reached a record €473m in 2022, according to the country’s agriculture minister, Frida Krifca. This represents an increase of 15.6 per cent in volume and 18.1 per cent in value compared to 2021.

Albanian greenhouse

The growth was driven by investments in export infrastructure such as storage and coldstorage capacity.

Fruit and vegetables account for 20 per cent of Albania’s agricultural output but contribute 36 per cent of its exports and this share is expected to increase, according to a 2022 report from the World Bank.

Greenhouse vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, cabbage, onions and leeks are among the country’s most exported products.

The report cites the favourable climate, proximity to European markets and low-cost labour as reasons for Albania’s strong investment potential, along with the high quality and competitiveness of its export offer.

Tomatoes in particular represent a major opportunity, as they can compete in quality with products from other countries in markets such as Western Europe.

These products have been gaining ground in the Western Balkans and are well positioned to make headway in the EU-28 market, the report states.

Albania is highly dependent on its agricultural sector, which accounts for 20 per cent of GDP, 40 per cent of employment and 12 per cent of total exports.

The report identifies a number of challenges Albania faces, including rising costs and poor infrastructure.

Other products identified by the World Bank as possible sources of income for Albanian farmers include fish, nuts, fruit, watermelons and canned olives.