“Formalization and development of agriculture, interaction between government and financial institutions and farmers”
During a visit to Berat region, the Minister of Finance and Economy, Anila Denaj attended an event organized by the Albanian Agribusiness Support Program (AASF) on “Innovative Financing Solutions Agriculture and Agribusiness “.
Present at this event were representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, EBRD representatives, farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs in the district of Berat.
In her speech at this meeting, Minister Denaj said that the Government, together with important country partners, has supported the agricultural sector with a number of support programs aimed at stimulating and developing the sector.
More specifically, the AASF program aims to motivate financial and financial institutions in the value chain of agri-business through funding programs and technical assistance; ensuring that access to finance for the agribusiness sector is enabled in two ways: credit line and / or portfolio risk delivery for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and banks.
“Institutions benefit from a first loss risk coverage that is made available by the Albanian Government. The total value of the contribution from the EBRD and the Albanian Government enabling the total collateral guarantee totals 180 million euros. The final beneficiaries of AASF are farmers, entrepreneurs and companies engaged in the production and processing of agricultural products, the production and trade of agricultural equipment, logistics, agribusiness service providers, wholesalers and retailers, “Denaj said.
She further emphasized that the government is oriented towards fiscal policies that help and encourage farmer and self-employment.
The scheme of self-employed persons in agriculture has already provided protection for self-employed in agriculture, including pensions, maternity wages, medical visits and compensation of medicines in case of illness. This scheme is stimulated and funded in significant amounts of funds from the state budget and it is sufficient for the farmer to pay the minimum annual quota.
“For each farm insured, as self-employed in agriculture, in the field areas, the state budget subsidizes 46% of the annual quota and for each farmed insured, as self-employed in agriculture, in mountainous areas the state budget subsidizes 59% of the annual quota “Said Denaj.
A particular attention is now paid to vocational education development, as investment conditions and learning environments, as well as the addition of professional branches in support of agriculture and agro-tourism.
The Minister underlined the fiscal relief that the government has made for the agricultural sector, such as the abolition of VAT on machinery and equipment, the easing of the fiscal burden on the Agricultural Cooperative Societies (Cooperatives), reducing the 3-fold profit tax and reducing the 5 million limit of the scheme self-financing, etc.
Referring to changes in the 2019 Fiscal Package for Agriculture Sector, Minister Denaj said more efforts should be made to formalize local infrastructure and to have a better link between farmers and agro-processing companies in order to increase the economy of scale . Denaj emphasized the need for formalization of the sector in order to have even greater and greater development.
“Today is a moment where we need to interact more closely with each other to stimulate this sector, we as a Government on one hand, Financial Institutions and the farmer himself through formalization and development of his capacities – as our programs and partners are ready to assist us at any moment, “said the minister.
News Source: ATA