IFDC Report, Volume 18, No. 3

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This report highlights Albania's progress in transitioning from an isolationist, centrally planned economy to a market economy, with a particular focus on the agricultural sector. While Albania has achieved notable advancements in establishing democracy, controlling inflation, attracting foreign investment, and increasing agricultural and industrial production, it remains one of Europe's poorest countries. The economy must stabilize and develop the necessary institutions and infrastructure to support market-oriented approaches to unlock the country's potential for higher productivity and income. The report emphasizes the importance of developing an agricultural management information system to address the challenges faced by Albania. The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) has introduced modern information technology tools to Albania's agricultural sector personnel. A team of IFDC scientists visited Albania to demonstrate the capabilities of geographic information systems (GIS) and crop modelling in providing essential information for decision-making. The prototype crop model GIS system showcased in the demonstrations enables the production of soil and agroclimatic maps, crop simulation modelling, and mapping sales regions for individual dealers. The demonstrations received positive responses from approximately 300 attendees, including policymakers, agronomists, and agricultural input dealers. The report underscores the need to establish a multidisciplinary team of Albanian experts trained in using crop models and GIS to provide timely and relevant information to policymakers. Furthermore, the report discusses ongoing efforts to expand the prototype model GIS system to cover the entire country. The Ministry of Agriculture is utilizing an area sampling frame (ASF) method to estimate crop areas and yields at the national level. By linking the GIS system to these databases, valuable data can be mapped and analyzed, aiding in regional production assessments, wheat production suitability evaluations, and estimation of on-farm fertilizer demand. The report concludes by highlighting the potential of the prototype model GIS system in supporting decision-making processes within Albania's agricultural sector. It emphasizes the importance of further development and training initiatives to fully capitalize on the opportunities presented by this innovative approach to information provision.
Agricultural technology, Crop Modelling, Nutrient availability