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Information Sessions on Economic Clusters in Rrëshen and Belsh Areas

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The Institute for Democracy and Mediation held the informational session in Rrëshen on April 17 and in Belsh on April 22, 2014, in the framework of the project “A Cluster Establishment Methodology Is Produced and Includes a Detailed Map of Steps and Actions in Forming Women Economic Clusters in Agribusiness in Albania” funded by Australian Embassy Rome Development Aid Program for Albania.

Besides IDM representatives, the meeting hosted 80 women of different backgrounds from rural areas and municipality representatives in both selected areas.

The purpose of the meeting was to identify women’s needs in the area and raise awareness for their economical empowerment in order to ensure economic advancement and self-employment opportunities for women in the selected areas. During the informational session, women were introduced with each other and their respective field of involvement. They were also informed about economical clusters, forms and mechanisms that would empower them economically in a long-term sustainable perspective.

 

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Main Observations

Rrëshen, April 17, 2014

  • Raised capacity of women groups in the area in the sectors of handicrafts artisans, viticulture (grape and wine) and agricultural products;
  • Desire and willingness to cooperate together within economic clusters;
  • Presence of two women’s organizations “Women for Progress” and the Center for Women respectively that offer support to women;
  • Interest to have more information on the establishment and functioning of economic clusters;
  • Interactive discussion on advantages and disadvantages of economic clustering;
  • ARBER wine product is nationally recognized  as the engine of wine cluster development
  • Identification  of potential clusters by sector in the end of the meeting and organization of a local fair with local products in cooperation with the Municipality Rrëshen;

Belsh, April 22, 2014

  • Limited capacities in relation to women’s economic grouping and limited support on their economic empowerment
  • Lack of community groups and non-profit organizations in support of women
  • Limited participation of women from rural areas due to the close mentality
  • Products that are grown in the area are generally orchards and olive oil processing in Fjerzë commune and tobacco in Rasa commune.
  • Other agricultural products such as fruits and vegetables are mostly produced for personal use than retail purposes.

Follow-Up

Main observation will be considered by project management team to define the topic of capacity building of women in this area.

Rrëshen

Based on the above observations, capacity building focused on economic cluster development would be the next step of project intervention.

Belsh

Based on the above observations, developing even a form of the economic cluster in Belsh area would be an added value of project intervention.