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In Pictures 18 Oct 17

Agrotourism Brings Hope to Remote North of Albania

The small agro-tourism farm in the village of Kcire, built on the initiative of an Italian Catholic priest, has reduced local unemployment and made the remote community a beacon for visitors. 

Fatjona Mejdini
BIRN
Puka
...

Life in the remote village of Kcire in northern Albania's Puka region revolves around two things, the parish church and the Mhill Troshani agro-tourism farm. In fact, the two of them are strongly linked.

In 1999, an Italian Catholic priest, Don Giovanni Fiocchi came to run the parish church. While pondering how to deal with endless requests from the villagers to help them get by, he realised that the village itself had hidden potential to secure many people a decent living.

Together with the villagers, he started to plant the 40 hectares of church land with different fruit trees, vineyards, medicinal herbs, and teas, while funds from the Italian government helped them create modern machinery for processing them.

Today, 15 people from the village are fully employed in the agro farm while around 100 others work there temporarily during harvest times. 

They prepare organic products such as jam, honey, liqueur, tea and dried fruits to sell to visitors to their farm or supply organic food shops all over the country. 

The initiative has had a real impact in reducing unemployment in the area and making it more attractive to tourists.

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