Agribusiness Investor Event for clients of Societe Generale Bank Albania
AASF experts were invited as keynote speakers at an Agribusiness Investor Event organized by Societe Generale Bank Albania on the 20th of September 2017. The event was attended by 40 VIP corporate clients of Societe Generale. The AASF experts gave an overview of financing options under AASF, potential combination with other financing programmes such as the upcoming IPARD facility and state support programmes. One presentation focused on contemporary consumer expectations to quality, packaging, traceability and other key features of agricultural products. In addition, the success story of Georgia, which in recent years became the world's third largest hazelnut producer and a maker of outstanding wines for the world market, was presented.
ASB conference "International Best Practice in Agribusiness"
AASF experts participated as keynote speakers at the conference "International Best Practice in Agribusiness", which took place on the 08th of May 2017 in the Plaza hotel Tirana. The event was organized by the EBRD Advice for Small Business (ASB) programme. One presentation provided an overview of AASF, the financing options available, the currently participating financial institutions and the AASF project structure. The second presentation focused on the international perspective in agribusiness finance, more precisely the Irish Perspective. This presentation highlighted the development and contemporary state of agribusiness finance in Ireland, and in particular the influence of EU membership on it.
Albania Agriculture Support Facility Participates in the Biggest Annual Agro-Fair
The Albanian Government and its key partners will lend financial support to investment and entrepreneurship in farming aimed at increasing productivity, boost agricultural productivity, andquality and the livelihoods of farmer.
Prime Minister Edi Rama on Wednesday, December 29th, 2017, visited the pavilions of the largest agricultural fair 'Albania Works the Land', a nationwide exhibition that opened at the Mother Teresa Square in Tirana as a co-initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
AASF was certainly one of the major and most active fair hosts. The Albania Agriculture Support Facility stand attracted lots of interest, not only from farmers and agro-processors, but also from very interested individuals that plan to be involved and invest in agriculture ventures.
The AASF stand served as an information hub and gathered bank and financial institution experts, who collectively shared their insights and experience in open and frank discussions about the roadmap to unlock the huge potential of the Albanian agriculture.
AASF participation in the 'Albania Works the Land' agriculture fair was part of the implementation of the financing framework developed by EBRD in cooperation with the Government of Albania, which started its activities in 2016.
The objective of the facility is to motivate Albanian financial institutions to support a vital sector of the Albanian economy with widely untapped potential - agriculture and agribusinesses.
The Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Niko Peleshi stated that year 2018 will be the year with the largest funding for agriculture.
According to the Minister, next spring the IPARD Program will be launched in the amount of 93 million euros. "We have a fantastic scheme, which is the Guarantee Fund, through which the Albanian Government and the EBRD undertake to cover the risk of investments in agriculture", said Mr. Peleshi. For the Minister, agriculture has turned from a very difficult sector, into a preferred sector for investment and support.
In a conversation with local entrepreneurs, the Prime Minister, Edi Rama vowed to enhance government support for the country’s agriculture as a key sector in the Albanian economy, employing about half of the country’s GDP but producing only about 20 percent of the GDP.
"Starting from the beginning of next year, the National Support Fund, being implemented through the Agricultural and Rural Development Agency, will allocate a special fund to support projects by young entrepreneurs in farming," PM Rama said. According to Mr. Rama, the government will also support science and innovation in agriculture.“We are seeking to give a fresh impetus to development of agriculture and the government has approved the largest ever budget for agriculture. However, we want to mainly focus on investments that help to increase exports, improve quality and the domestic agricultural output," he noted.
The Prime Minister, Minister of Agriculture and ARDA head engaged in conversations with the fair exhibitors and appreciated the participation of the financial institutions present during the fair days.
First AgroPoint opens in Fier, AASF was present
The first unique and dedicated one stop counter for farmers opened in Fier on January 10, 2018.
The new facility will provide farmers with application support and advice for grants and subsidies under the IPARD program, business plan advice, agricultural information and expertise, financial information on agricultural markets.
Prime Minister Edi Rama, accompanied by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Niko Peleshi, were present at Fier for the inauguration of this facility.
Establishing 20 points across the country will provide farmers with information on applications, access to finance, extension support, and other services.
The AASF was present with important and active information stands during the opening of the first AgroPoint. The Agriculture Support Facility in Albania attracted interest from farmers and agro-processors involved in agricultural enterprises. They were advised to contact the financial institutions adhering to the Albania Agriculture Support Facility in order to benefit from the innovative solutions aimed at them.