Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tangerine Dreams

Following the forced collectivization of agricultural lands during communism and the agrarian reforms of the early 1990's, Albania' fertile land was cut up into tiny privately owned parcels.  The new owners had an understandable aversion to "cooperative" farming of any sort having just been freed from the virtual slavery that communist cooperatives employed.  Efforts by various international organizations to encourage landowners to collectivize their farmland to take advantage of economies of scale have not taken root quickly. Italian tomato growers, Israeli wheat farmers, and other entrepreneurs tried to coax villagers to combine their plots and use collective assets to produce more only to be stymied by the warren of cinder-block walls and barbed wire fences erected around newly privatized plots.  Depressing.

This article shows there is light at the end of the tunnel.  The combined strength of Albanians' green thumbs, ideal climate, and desire to succeed has brought the village of Xarre full circle in a successful "capitalist cooperative."  We can only hope the owners of the vast fertile fields near Fier, Lushnje, Kavaja, Lac, and Lezhe are paying attention and join this trend.