Miras, 19 October 2018. The Albanian Centre for Environmental Governance (ACE) has started the organization of local forums with local farmers, citizens, heads of villages and municipal authorities. The forum entails an important milestone in the framework fo the project “Devoll Barometer. The assessment of local promises based on article 27. The functions of the municipality on agriculture, forestry and rural development”.
The ACEG Centre established the working team with three experts on legal & institutional background, agriculture and rural development and environmental area who carried out a thorough analysis during a two months period, August-September 2018. The experts collected all the promises of the current municipal authorities during 2015 campaign, and measured five main areas: agriculture, rural development and agrotourism, forestry, environmental protection and irrigation and drainage against 35 indicators towards concrete implementation for the period 2015-2018.
The first meeting to present the draft results of the #DevollBarometer took place on 19 October 2018 in Miras Administrative Unit, one of the largest units with 17 villages and well known for its agriculture products such as onion production all over Albania.
According to the expert Mr. Nika “it is noticed that the municipality has made considerable progress towards rural development, specifically under irrigation and drainage systems while falling back on the three other areas”. Furthermore, Nika explained that based on a general analysis as presented in the graph below, the Devoll municipality has made partial or full progress towards its electoral promises in 52% of their work; while has fallen back to fulfil completely or partially 48% of its promises”. Further, he added that the municipality has still one more year to deliver its promises and this could change the graph results as presented in the barometer.
During the discussions session, the local participants acknowledged the findings of the Devoll Barometer and appreciated the work done as the first-ever analysis of rural development in the area. Ilia Zenelati from Poncare village raised the issue of no proper market without any guarantee for farmers. Local products such as beans or onions are sold “allegedly” under Miras brand. Whereas, other farmers listed the priorities from their perspective such as: safe pesticides, market, price volatility, agriculture advisory services, local TV programmes who talk about alternative agriculture and proper cultivars for the farmers.
The Miras Forum will be followed by 3 other roundtables to be held in Qender, Hocisht and Proger and then a final roundtable in Bilisht town. The recommendations that will come from the consultations and the local forums will be reviewed and adapted to the final draft of the barometer and will also serve as a benchmark for preparing the priorities in the above-mentioned areas directly from the local needs.
Note: This meeting is organized in the framework of the project “Devoll Barometer. The assessment of local promises based on article 27. The functions of the municipality on agriculture, forestry and rural development”, that is being implemented by ACEG in partnership with local NGO’s Green Association Proger and Citizens Advisory Committee Devoll. The project is funded by LëvizAlbania – for a strong local democracy by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation – SDC.