- Last Updated on: March 03, 2011
USAID Donates Vegetable Seedlings to Shkodra Flood Affected Farmers
SHKODRA, MARCH 3, 2010 Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Albania donated over 130,000 tomato, pepper and cucumber seedlings to 43 greenhouse farmers who lost their crops during the devastating floods that occurred in Albania in November, December and January in northern Albania. The seedlings will supply an important source of income for farmers during the spring months.
Farmers from the communes of Guri Zi, Ana e Malit, Bahçallëk, Dajç and Berdicë, met with Mr. Joseph Williams, the USAID Mission Director for Albania, who delivered remarks at a hand-over ceremony with local farmers.
“Seeking to transform a disaster into an opportunity to improve the livelihoods of farmers in Shkodra, today USAID is donating 130,000 vegetable seedlings to help you not only rebuild your livelihoods, but build them better,” said Williams.
The Shkodra region experienced severe flooding this winter because of torrential rains and the overflow of the Fierza and Vau i Dejes hydro electric dams. The floods covered over 14,000 hectares and forced the evacuation of some 4,000 households.
In the days immediately following the flooding, the U.S. Government provided $50,000 in emergency humanitarian relief supplies to flood victims. Through the Albanian Red Cross, USAID distributed blankets, hygiene kits, and other emergency relief supplies to 5,000 people here in Shkodra.
While damage was not significant for land used for field crops, greenhouses were seriously affected. USAID’s Albanian Agriculture Competitiveness Program surveyed damages and confirmed that 4.7 hectares of greenhouses were seriously damaged, affecting the livelihoods of 43 rural households.
Through its strategic grants fund, USAID will support these client-farmers by providing them with a “technology package” that will assist households in need, while facilitating the introduction of technological innovations. These interventions allow AAC clients to transition from low-technology vegetable production models - based on the use of farm-grown seedlings of traditional varieties - to commercially grown seedlings of crops with greater market potential and varieties with higher yields and market-sought attributes.
For more information about USAID activities to support the Albanian agriculture sector, please visit http://albania.usaid.gov .