Tirana, October 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
The Investment Council has recommended to the Albanian government to increase direct subsidies for farmers, as a way which encourages the growth of agricultural production and leads to a formalization of this sector. In a special study on agriculture, the council says that the direct subsidies scheme is considered by farmers as the most efficient mechanism for formalization. The council suggests for a larger number of farmers to be included in the scheme.
In neighboring countries, governments spend up to 150 million euros a year to support farmers. Although this fund has increased by 60% in the past two years in Albania, it is still low compared to the demands.
“Under these circumstances, the possibilities to benefit from the scheme, although the farmer may have met the necessary criteria, are reduced and this gives a blow to the trust of those who apply”, the report says.
Last year, the government approved another measure to support farmers, the refund of the 20% VAT. According to figures, up until now, farmers have benefited around 5,1 million USD from this scheme so far. /balkaneu.com/