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Albania approves EU's IPARD programme to support agriculture

Albania approves EU's IPARD programme to support agriculture Albania's Finance Ministry/All Rights Reserved.

TIRANA (Albania), May 3 (SeeNews) – Albania's government said it has approved the European Union's programme for providing financing to the candidate country's agricultural sector.

The EU will provide 71 million euro, while the Albanian government will contribute 23 million euro to the programme that will offer direct financial assistance to farmers and will support rural development, the government said in a statement on Wednesday.

The programme will be implemented under the EU's instrument for pre-accession assistance in rural development (IPARD II). The objectives of IPARD are to provide assistance for the implementation of the acquis concerning the Common Agricultural Policy and to contribute to the sustainable adaptation of the agricultural sector and rural areas in the EU candidate country.

Low expenditures and structural problems such as the small size of local farms and crop fields are some of the main challenges Albania faces in the area of agriculture, the European Commission noted in a press release issued after a meeting of EU - Albania Stabilisation and Association Agreement subcommittee on agriculture and fisheries in November.

In April, the European Commission recommended that EU accession talks be opened with Albania in light of the progress achieved in the implementation of the EU's enlargement policy.