Although one of Europe’s smallest countries in terms of area and population, the favorable Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine ranks Albania one of the top agricultural producers among 38 European nations.
Data published by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, shows Albania is among Europe’s top ten producers when it comes to citrus fruit, aromatic and medicinal plants as well as chestnuts.
Albania had 1,000 hectares of citrus fruit in 2016 with a production of 40,000 metric tons, ranking the country the Western Balkans’ top producer and Europe’s ninth largest producer on a list topped by much larger Spain, Turkey and Italy.
Citrus production in Albania is primarily represented by mandarin cultivation in the southern Albanian region of Saranda, where a mandarin cooperative has turned into a success story in Albania’s underdeveloped agriculture sector.
Mandarin production from the country’s most famous private-run collective farm in Xarre village, Saranda, a rare example in Albania’s fragmented and individually-run farms, is estimated at 18,000 metric tons from about 500 hectares of mandarins in a joint enterprise where about 450 farmers have come together.
Located in southernmost Albania just off the UNESCO World Heritage site of Butrint, the Xarra cooperative near the Ionian coastline also benefits from a Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine.