In 2015, CNVP Albania's office in Kukes collaborated with CNVP Kosovo to support a farm family living in Golaj village, helping it to plant new varieties of non-timber forest products (NTFPs). 1,200 square metres were planted with goyberry, aronia, raspberries and strawberries. The seedlings were donated by a farmer in Kosovo. The aim of the support in Albania was to:
1. create a new model of cultivated NTFPs for farmers;
2. build their technical capacities to grow cultivated NTFPs, and create an enabling environment for their development;
3. generate additional income and employment for rural familes; and
4. establish networks with farmers in Kosovo and the rest of the Balkan region.
CNVP Kukes has provided continous support to the farmer covering organizational and technical issues. During late April/early May 2018, field training was held where the farm family demonstrated activities with which it has been engaged covering phytosanitary conditions, thinning, fertilisation and infrastructure e.g. retention structures/concrete pillars for the plants, especially for blackberries. The farmer is now able to consider processing, storing and selling the produce.
The new varieties of cultivated NTFPs have helped to increase family income and youth employment, as well as promote women's economic empowerment. Further support can be given to this and similar family farms at all stages of the value chain from production through to final consumption.
This work was supported by CNVP Albania under the framework of the Sida-funded project Forests for Local Economic Development (FLED).