On September 21st, Prime Minister Edi Rama and the director of ARDA, Frida Krifca, visited the medicinal herb collection company “Gjedra Ltd.” to observe closely the new investment supported by the IPARD program.
The investment, which consists of building a new warehouse and installing two drying ovens, amounts to 557 thousand euros and is supported by a grant of 223 thousand euros.
Gjergji, the owner of the company, expressed that this investment was much needed since small-scale farmers or traders didn’t have the proper hygienic conditions to dry apples.
“Apples cannot be dried in the same environment as other medicinal herbs, so it was necessary to construct a dedicated space. In total, we process 1400 tons of fresh apples, which are treated in these ovens and the new warehouse,” he said during the meeting with the Prime Minister and the head of ARDA.
Thanks to this investment, “Gjedra shpk” will now increase its processing capacity and the number of workers.
The company “Gjedra shpk” takes most of its medicinal plants and fruits for export to the USA, Germany, Italy, Spain, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, and others. Numerous requests from EU countries have made the company collect and export almost all the medicinal plants found in the territory of Albania. There are 3500 farmers who cooperate with Gjergji, who collect the medicinal plant and sell it to him.
“With the new investment from the IPARD program, these collaborators of Gjergji will have the opportunity to bring him not only medicinal plants but also fruits, which will be dried and then exported abroad”, said Krifca to Prime Minister Rama.
The benefits that “Gjedra shpk” received from ARDA
In order to consolidate and advance this industry, the Agency for Agricultural and Rural Development has supported the company “Gjedra shpk” even before. In 2015, a funding of 31,804,801.51 ALL has benefited from the IPARD-Like program. The investment was used for the purchase of an expensive machine, but very important for the business as it was used to clean any type of dirt that is in the medicinal plants.
It has already been contracted in the first call of the IPARD II program, an investment that went to the construction of a new warehouse, for drying and trading of fruits and medicinal plants and two ovens that will be used for their drying. The investment as a whole foresees the collection and drying of fruits; apples, blueberries and their export outside Albania, in accordance with European standards. The drying ovens have a capacity of 5 tons per day.
With this investment, “Gjedra shpk” aims to expand the portfolio of products it processes and exports and at the same time aims to be a factor in the fruit processing market, in addition to the market of medicinal plants.