FAO - Advancing sustainable agriculture, Albania's commitment to sustainable use of plant protection products
17 May 2023
May 17, 2023, Tirana, Albania - FAO Albania, supported the finalization of the Albanian Action Plan on the sustainable use of plant protection products for the years 2022-2032. The aim of this plan is to minimize risks to humans, animals, and the environment. The Action Plan was finalized and approved by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) with Order No. 578, dated 2.12.2022. It was published in the Official Gazette No. 168, dated 15 December 2022 (pg 236). Additionally, a draft training plan for the implementation of the Action Plan has been prepared.
In collaboration with MARD, FAO conducted local consultations with key stakeholders and facilitated a five-day study tour to Croatia. The tour included visits to the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture, Agency for Agriculture and Food, State Inspectorate, Faculty of Agrobiotechnical Sciences Osijek, and the Teaching Institute for Public Health. The purpose of the tour was to observe the practical functioning of the system and transfer Croatia's experience in implementing the EU directive on the sustainable use of pesticides.
"Plant protection products (PPPs) are crucial for ensuring food production and food security, considering that plants provide around 80% of the food consumed by humans. However, despite their advantages, particularly in agriculture, the use of PPPs may also have negative consequences for plant and human/animal health (residue levels) as well as the environment" said Agim Pepkolaj, National Project Manager of the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Arian Jaupllari, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, commended the partnership with FAO and emphasized the importance of implementing the Action Plan in collaboration with partners. This implementation will help minimize risks to human health and the environment associated with pesticide use, based on the objectives, actions, measures, and indicators set in the Action Plan.
The project's final workshop brought together key actors involved in PPP regulation and monitoring the implementation of the Action Plan. During the workshop, government representatives from MARD, National Veterinary and Plant Protection Authority, Institute of Food Safety and Veterinary, National Food Authority, Ministry of Tourism and Environment, and Ministry of Health presented their roles and responsibilities for implementing the Action Plan. Furthermore, representatives from donors (GIZ, EUDelegation, and CIHEAM Bari) highlighted their support for the sustainable use of pesticides and discussed possible additional support to the Albanian government in achieving the targets set in the Action Plan.
Another important event organized by FAO, in collaboration with the Agriculture University of Tirana, took place on May 18, 2023. Approximately 50 participants; students, and professors from the Agriculture Faculty, attended the lecture on international cooperation in preventing the spread of plant pests between countries, delivered by Dr. Piotr Wlodarczyk, Agricultural Officer at the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia.