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By Ledio Allkja dhe Rudina Toto – 

Preparing successful fundable projects for support by financial or donor institutions remains a challenge for Albanian municipalities. Effective projects should be reinforced with comprehensive analysis, considering all possible obstacles and opportunities in the implementation process. They should also convince the funding institutions of the municipality’s capacity to deal with the project’s complexity and absorb its financing. PLGP has supported the municipalities of Fier and Berat to boost local economic development through the preparation of fundable projects to be implemented with the financial support of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). Agriculture is a key sector of local economic development for both Fier and Berat, and as such both projects reflect this emphasis.

In the case of Fier, the municipality developed a new regional livestock market project-including feasibility study and construction details. The new market will replace the existing one which operates in the inner city near the railway, in poor physical and sanitary conditions. The municipality plans to build the new livestock market in an agriculture area outside the city, which will benefit the whole region allowing for more frequent use as a market, along with use for other activities such as fairs, bazaars, municipal days, etc. PLGP supported the municipality in developing this project by conducting a feasibility study addressing both construction and future operation and management. The total cost of the market is around 700,000 Euro and will be co-financed from the municipality and TAP. It will meet all technical and sanitary requirements including specific sections for different types of livestock, offices for veterinarians, an emergency room, a quarantine area, toilets, and a large parking area.

In Berat, the main irrigation channel of Mbreshtani will be reconstructed through the co-financing of the municipality and TAP, with TAP investing around 360,000 Euro in the reconstruction of the main channel, and the municipality investing in the branches of the irrigation system. The proposed irrigation system has a length of 7.1km covering the fields of Mbreshtan, Palikesht, and Starova; and will serve around 550 hectares of agricultural land and 5000 people whose economies are agriculture-based. Over the last 30 years the channel has fallen into disrepair due to lack of maintenance and is no longer functional.

PLGP provided technical support for the development of both projects, which are solid initiatives of local economic development. Through the work of PLGP over 700,000 Euros have been raised from external sources (TAP), and another 700,000 Euros will be invested by the respective municipalities. Both projects are expected to be implemented within 2019.

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