Subscribe to our newsletter

Albania’s Agri-Import Surge Amidst Tourism Boom

Albania faces a growing trade imbalance as fruit and vegetable imports surge by 63%, outpacing exports and revealing a missed opportunity in local agriculture amid a tourism boom

Albania’s fruit and vegetable imports have surged by 63% in the first two months of 2024, compared to the same period last year, dwarfing the growth in exports and signaling an increasing reliance on foreign produce. This uptick, as reported by official trade data, signifies a deepening impact of the euro’s devaluation on the Albanian economy, particularly affecting the agricultural sector. Despite Albania’s favorable climate and geography, its agricultural production lags, losing ground to imports.

The trade imbalance has notably widened this year, with imports of greens soaring by 79% and fruits by 49% in January and February 2024, against the backdrop of a burgeoning tourism industry. This mismatch underscores a missed opportunity for local agriculture to capitalize on the heightened demand driven by tourism. Instead, a significant portion of the income from this sector is spent on importing food, essentially transferring domestic earnings abroad.

As Albania anticipates a record influx of tourists, sectors associated with tourism, including food services, have seen a notable increase in imports. However, the potential for agriculture to benefit substantially from this boom remains untapped due to a lack of coordinated policies and financial support. The situation is exacerbated by depopulation in rural areas, leading to a decline in local food production and transforming communities into net consumers rather than producers. This trend, especially pronounced in the country’s northern and southern villages, highlights the broader challenges facing Albania’s agricultural sector and rural economy.

Must Read

Akrapovič Revs Up Partnership with Ferrari for Hypercar Racing

Akrapovič, the esteemed Slovenian exhaust system manufacturer, has entered into a significant multi-year agreement with Italian automotive giant Ferrari. This partnership positions Akrapovič as...