As the grain harvest begins, Albanian farmers complain about the competition from Serbia’s wheat: We are selling below cost, the import is harming us

14/06/2024 15:43

In Seman, in Fier in southern Albania, the barley and wheat harvest season has begun, but even though the production looks good, the farmers there are disappointed by the low buying price of grain and the unfair competition of imported grains.

“I have 80 quintals of wheat in stock from last year,” says a farmer. “In a few days I will start harvesting new wheat and I have no conditions for storage. Meanwhile, rodents are also a problem.”

With an offered price of 2,500 ALL per quintal, the farmers say they cannot even cover the costs, thus being a sale below cost.

“In the past years, when we harvested the wheat, traders came and took it from us”, says Petraq Peto, a combine harvester operator for 50 years.

“While today no one asks at all. In our area, we produce organic wheat full of protein, while the market is full of wheat coming from Ukraine and Serbia”, adds the farmer.

According to growers, the market does not have a regulator to set a ceiling price, and this leaves them frustrated. The experience of the past years has shown that due to the import, the price decreases and farmers keep wheat stock in warehouses.

In order not to throw it away, they use it as feed for cattle. Therefore, their call goes to the state at this moment, when the wheat harvest has just begun. The lack of a point for collection and storage of produce also presents a serious difficulty for farmers in Myzeqe.

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