When I first moved to Albania, I imagined that shortages of food might be a problem for communities living with little income. But I was wrong about that. There is no food shortage in Albania, and the opposite is true. Food in abundance is grown everywhere and sells at the lowest prices in Europe. There are lovely vegetables and fruit of every imaginable variety, plus herds of sheep, goats and cows everywhere you go. In fact the farmed animals make quite liberal use of the main roads, so we must all drive carefully and watch for the slippery doo-dahs!
Food production in the fertile south of Albania is one of the greatest opportunities for the country. There is a surplus of food, yet many farms and pastures are fallow because the producers can not sell their crops.
Through export of food in future, Albania can be an asset to other Balkan and European countries. But due to the distances from source to market, the cost of distributing fresh food and keeping it refrigerated while in transit is too expensive for Albania.
A canning factory in the south of Albania is needed, to take farm produce from the “fertile triangle” and produce high quality meals such as soups and stews and casseroles, and can them. The foods can then be distributed throughout the Balkans and Europe, earning Albania foreign currency and the ability to pay for equipment and technology to improve the infrastructure of this lovely country. At the same time, a canning factory will employ up to 300 people, and will enable farmers in the south to cultivate and crop the many fields that at the moment are left fallow.
I am very excited and honoured that Mr Genci Mita who is the owner and General Manager of Sejega foods near Tirane is willing to help start a canning factory in the south of Albania.
In two weeks time I will be travelling to Tiranë to meet him and see his existing factory and talk about this proposal in more detail. I am also very privileged to have met the Mayor of Delvinë on Monday of this week. He has offered land for a factory free of charge.
Investment capital will be needed for the building, for equipment and for training people to run the factory. There will be an opportunity for European investors to contribute to this venture, and receive a share of the success.
Although this initiative is not part of the core mission of the Lidia Foundation, I want to express my thanks to friends Ibrahim Bajrami and Esmeralda Isufi from the Foundation, plus Cimi Muhammedi. Through friendships like these, this proposal is moving forward.
If you are able to assist this venture in any way, please log in to the site using e.g. Facebook login, and leave a comment at the bottom of this thread.