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VOA: The increase in prices due to the war in Ukraine harms farmers in Albania
As in most of Europe, in Albania there has been an increase in the prices of basic food products and fuel after the war in Ukraine. Farms are one category that has been hit the hardest as they seek government help to cope with high pesticide prices.
After several years of working as a bodyguard in nightclubs in Tirana, Agim Eshka moved to Grekan village two years ago. He invested all his savings in an agricultural land of 180 hectares, in this village in the city of Elbasan.
As in most of Europe, in Albania there has been an increase in the prices of basic food products and fuel after the war in Ukraine.
Pesticides are necessary to grow all kinds of produce. The increase in the price of pesticides has also affected Mr. Eshka's profits.
The other farmer, Tafil Arapi, also calls for help, while the difficulties to survive have increased.
Almost a third of Albania's population lives on less than $5.50 a day, according to data from the World Bank. Agriculture expert Alban Zusi says additional funds are needed to support farmers.
About 40 percent of Albania's population of 2.8 million lives in the countryside, but agriculture accounts for only 19 percent of its GDP. Poverty is a problem faced by many farmers in Albania.
About 280,000 of the approximately 350,000 farmers in the country are small and independent farmers. As such, they do not qualify for government subsidies or European Union grants./ VOA