Small-scale Irrigation Rehabilitation Project

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Small-scale Irrigation Rehabilitation Project

Small-scale Irrigation Rehabilitation Project

After the collapse of the centralized agricultural production system early in the 1990s, agricultural production declined sharply and Albania became dependent on food aid. Although government reforms reversed the decline, agricultural production, mainly wheat, maize, vegetables and livestock, was prevalently at subsistence levels, with limited market output. This project was designed to assist the government in mitigating, through a balanced programme of agricultural development, the effects of political and economic change in rural areas, with a particular focus on smallholder communities of the hilly and mountainous areas of northern Albania , which are among the poorest in the country.

This project had the aim of assisting small farming households in northern Albania so they might consolidate their livelihood in a new, open economic environment. While a previous IFAD-financed project, the Northeastern Districts Rural Development Project, addressed the more urgent needs of people in the area, this project addressed medium-term development requirements and focused on rehabilitation of irrigation systems. At the time, about 60 per cent of arable land was irrigated, but maintenance of irrigation infrastructure and drainage systems was reduced and construction of new or improved schemes was halted. In mountain areas, farmer-owned and managed small gravity-fed irrigation schemes required rehabilitation of existing equipment and networks, as well as assistance to farmers for more efficient use of water, and the creation of water users associations that would operate and maintain the systems. Most of the systems served only one village.

The project targeted rural farming households, with limited landholdings, that used small, gravity-fed and farmer-owned irrigation systems. Its goal was to reduce rural poverty in the medium and long term by improving agricultural productivity through support for essential rural infrastructure and related services. It also had the aim of establishing an institutional framework to support smallholder investment and production, emphasizing the private sector’s role. The project strengthened key financial services and funded training in financial management for government staff.


Source: IFAD

Status: Closed
Approval Date
06 December 1994
1994 - 2002
Total Project Cost
US$ 10.75 million
IFAD Financing
US$ 9.02 million
Co-financiers (Domestic)
National Government US$ 1.12 million
Financing terms
Highly Concessional
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