The CIHEAM Secretary General, Mr. Teodoro MIANO, participated in the bilateral dialogue that took place yesterday in Tirana between the Ministries of Agriculture of Albania, Mrs. Frida KRIFCA, and of Italy, the Ministries of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry of Italy, Mr. Francesco LOLLOBRIGIDA, and in presence of the Vice Minister of Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry, Mr. Edmondo CIRIELLI.
The meeting was the occasion to present the results of SAFIAL, an international project of cooperation funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and implemented by the CIHEAM Bari.
The encounter had an important institutional dimension for the CIHEAM in view of the imminent assumption of office (1 April 2023) of Mrs. Frida Krifca, as President of the CIHEAM.
The CIHEAM, represented by its Secretary General Mr. Teodoro MIANO, had a privileged place during the day of bilateral exchanges held between the Albanian and Italian Ministries of Agriculture, in the presence of the Vice-Minister of Italian foreigners, Mr. Edmondo CIRIELLI.
After the signing of a bilateral memorandum of understanding for agricultural cooperation between Albania and Italy, Mr. MIANO presented the SAFIAL project to the national authorities and the CIHEAM know-how and expertise in the implementation of international activities while recalling the importance of regional cooperation in the agri-food sector in response to the various crises that are severely impacting the Mediterranean region.
Mr. Teodoro Miano underlined the role of CIHEAM in supporting local administrations in setting up technical assistance processes for farmers, for the development of innovative technologies in sustainable food systems, or in terms of targeted investments for youth. The Secretary-General added that "CIHEAM's paramount action is to promote innovative and resilient agricultural models within the framework of One Health, drawing on the potential of the Mediterranean diet and targeting the resilience of local communities".
For the CIHEAM Bari, the Deputy Director, Dr Biagio Di Terlizzi, was present.
SAFIAL is the name of a project of cooperation funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and implemented by the CIHEAM Bari in Albania from May 2021 onwards. The project aims to strengthen the Albanian institutions that manage the national food safety system, in particular the National Food Agency (AKU), the Institute for Food Safety and Veterinary Medicine (ISUV), and the National Veterinary and Phytosanitary Authority (AKVM), which all come under the Albanian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). In the framework of this project, a new border inspection post (BIP) for the Albanian Food Agency has been fully constructed and equipped in Durres, a port city in western Albania on the Adriatic Sea. The facility will be fully operational by April 2023.
The Albanian Ministry of Agriculture greatly appreciated the project for its innovative character and its compliance with European standards. For these reasons, they identified the new BIP in Durres as a model to be adopted in the other border posts within the framework of a World Bank program.
The meeting was also an opportunity for the CIHEAM's new Secretary General Mr. Teodoro Miano to exchange views with Ms. Frida Krifca, who will take up her position as President of the CIHEAM Governing Board as of 1 April 2023. They discussed the prospects for action for the intergovernmental organization over the next years, highlighting possible synergies and complementary areas of interest.
Albania is a CIHEAM member country since 1992. A wide range of actions has been carried out in the Country through dynamics of knowledge sharing, technical assistance, formation, and multilateral political dialogues, all aimed at strengthening the Albanian stance on issues such as biodiversity protection, food security, and natural resources and coastal zone management.
CIHEAM’s field activities involve researchers, operators in the agricultural and tourist sector, institutional representatives, residents, and local communities. Over the years, cooperation has intensified, allowing the CIHEAM to participate, together with scientific institutions, in the process of harmonization of standards and in the legislative adaptation of the departments of the Ministries of Agriculture and the Environment, in sight of the negotiations for the accession of Albania to the European Union.