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Albania: Greenhouse farmers unite and set floor prices for new products

A large group of farmers from the areas of Berat and Fier have recently united to obtain floor prices in negotiations with collectors and exporters. The agricultural season has begun to yield the first greenhouse crops and cucumbers are now being harvested, but the prices for the growers reached less than half the cost at only 20 Lek ($0,21 USD) per kilo last week, HortiDaily informs.

Exposed to market prices, without financial support from the government, farmers tried to band together last week to set a floor price for new produce. For two days, the producers agreed not to sell, blocking the export as well. In this way, they managed to sell at the beginning of this week at over 60 Lek ($0,62 USD) per kilogram, almost double compared to the previous week.

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“There is a distortion of the market and the price, always to the detriment of the producer. In addition to the exporters, there are several intermediary aggregators. These manage to divide the farmers by giving low prices since the production cannot be delayed, it must be harvested immediately. Farmers are under pressure to sell as soon as possible, otherwise their losses grow, and accept prices that do not even cover the costs,” said Mariglen Ziu, a farmer with a long experience of growing in greenhouses in the Samatica area in Berat.

Last year, greenhouse vegetables, like cucumbers and tomatoes were exported at quite high prices, above 100 ALL ($1,05 USD) per kilogram, due to the lack of production in Spain and Italy. Based on last year’s profits, farmers expanded their greenhouses this year, but wholesale prices are now much lower than last year.

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