“Balkan Ideas Network for Sustainable Innovations in the Agro-Food sector “Balkanet”CCIT
Virtual Field Visit
10 September 2020
On the first day of the Balkanet zoom meeting, good examples in the field of agribusiness and their experiences were presented online. The meeting was opened by Albana Laknori’s speech; General Secretary of CCIT, where she explained, among other things, the role and goals of Chamber of Commerce in Tirana, the difficulties during COVID 19.
Adela Myftari, the project manager of CCIT, gave some general explanations about the process of the project.
Aurora Sulce, journalist of A2 CNN, in Tirana talked about the Albanian agro tourism situation and opportunities, stating that the agro sector represents 20% of the GDP and only 2 % of GDP is the support that the government is giving to this sector. Furthermore, the Covid 19 Pandemic has pushed companies to find innovative ways to develop their businesses, like bio plants, medical plants, and online sales, those diversifying the resources.
The virtual field visits continued with the video presentation of two businesses from the Albanian agro tourism business, the Uka Farm in Tirana and the Grand Albanik farm which is located in Kelcyre of city of Përmet.
Uka Farm was founded in 1996 by former Minister of Agriculture Rexhep Uka, who started organic cultivation of agricultural products on a small plot of land. His son Flori, a trained winemaker and standout amateur chef, is now the driving force behind the restaurant. Guests can enjoy fresh, flavorful vegetables and locally sourced cheese, meat and quality homemade wine. Uka Farm is located on the road out to the airport.
Link: Uka Farm
Grand Albanik Farm is an agro and eco-tourist activity that has been operating in the Deshnica Valley in Kelcyre for more than 3 years. The farm applies the principles of permaculture in horticulture and protects and enriches biodiversity. On the farm there is a bar – restaurant that mainly applies the traditional cuisine of the area and French specialties but the basic products are 100% of the farm or farming families around it with which it cooperates closely. Accommodation consists of 3 family rooms with a capacity of 4, 5 and 6 beds. Activities that can be developed are: Hiking, Yoga, cycling, horseback riding, camping and picnic in nature, beach on the rivers and lakes around, fishing, canyoning, cooking course, acquaintance with the wild flora, gardening, etc. Within the farm there is also a BIO-Boutique with traditional food products of the area and dozens of types of herbal teas.
Link: Grand Albanik Farm
After the virtual tour of the Grand Albanik farm, the owner of the farm, Elona Bejo talked about the activity , the difficulties they faced during the Pandemic and how they are dealing on the current situation.
After the Albanian businesses, Greek representatives presented their virtual tour, starting with the video guided-tour of the Μιχαλόπουλος company of pasta and spaghetti production and also the Farma Ilias, which specializes in the production of dairy products as well as other farming bio products.
Michalopoulos company : https://www.facebook.com/ZymarikaMichalopoulos/
Then, representatives of Albanian businesses, businesses participating in the field visit and the representatives in the project discussed with each other for their businesses, mainly for the problems they faced during COVID-19 and the way they are continuing to operate in order to make their businesses sustainable.
After the B2B meeting, the members discussed conclusions of the first day of the virtual field visits and various networking opportunities among the representatives of Greek and Albanian businesses.
The main goals of the meeting were:
- The support for sustainable and innovative farms.
- Enhancing the competitiveness and extroversion.
- Focus on research, technologies and smart agriculture.
- Improving the position of the farmers in the value chain.
- Contributing to climate change migration and biodiversity protection promoting the effective research management.
- Adapting modern consumer trends in the agricultural field.
11 September 2020
The final meeting was opened by Albana Laknori, General Secretary of CCIT, where she talked about the virtual meeting organized the first day. The project members continued with the discussions of the presentations of project results, their impressions on the fulfillment of goals, etc.
Mr. Dimitrios Bakalis, representative of Ilia Chamber, which is the LP of the Balkanet project, made a presentation about the goals, objectives and main achievements of the project
All partners elaborated on that and committed to continuing to capitalize on the positive outcomes and effects of the project.