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EC kickstarts IPARD II programme to support Albanian agribusinesses

EC kickstarts IPARD II programme to support Albanian agribusinesses Albania's Finance Ministry/All Rights Reserved.

TIRANA (Albania), October 26 (SeeNews) – The European Commission gave the green light to the implementation of the instrument for pre-accession for rural development (IPARD II) programme for Albania, the EU delegation to Albania said on Friday.

IPARD II gives Albanian farmers and agribusinesses access to 71 million euro ($81 million euro) funded by the EU in the period 2014-2020, which will be complemented by 23 million euro by the Albanian government, the EU delegation said in a statement.

“This is a major achievement and excellent news for the future of agricultural production in Albania and I wish to congratulate the Albanian authorities for their commitment,” the EU ambassador to Albania Luigi Soreca said in the statement.  “I strongly encourage farmers and agribusinesses to be proactive, seize the opportunities created by the IPARD II funds and apply for financial support."

According to the statement, Albania's agriculture ministry and the Agricultural and Rural Development Agency can now plan to open the first call for applications concerning three areas covered by IPARD II: investments in physical assets of agricultural holdings, investments in physical assets concerning processing and marketing of agricultural and fishery products, and farm diversification and business development.

IPARD aims 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 candidate country.

Albania became a candidate country for EU membership in June 2014.

($ = 0.87768 euro)