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EBRD backs Albania's agriculture with new credit framework

EBRD backs Albania's agriculture with new credit framework oticki/

TIRANA (Albania), January 11 (SeeNews) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) together with the Albanian government is enhancing access to finance for the country's agribusinesses by launching a new credit framework, the bank said on Monday.

Under this new framework, EBRD will provide dedicated credit lines to Albanian banks and microfinance institutions or will share with them the risk of lending to the agribusiness sector, EBRD said in a press release.

The bank will also support the country by providing technical assistance for capacity-building and training.

"It will encourage local financial institutions to increase lending to farmers and agribusiness companies in Albania. By reducing risk it will also make the sector more attractive to investors,” said Henry Russell, EBRD director for financial institutions, responsible for the Western Balkans.

Agriculture is a key sector of Albania’s economy. It provides employment for almost 50 per cent of the population in rural areas and accounts for around 20 per cent of the country’s GDP. However, only 2% of total lending to the economy are to the agriculture.