For 10 years, Edmira Toskes from the village of Ferras in Divjaka, had to cope with all the work of the village alone.
Older parents have taught her how to be a lady farmer.
“Now I’m cutting cabbage. I can do any job men do. Nothing is impossible”says Edmira Toska.
What seems impossible, however, is for the farmer Edmira Toska to keep her farm in competition with the import market, from where milk and meat come at lower prices.
“Now I am getting cabbage for cows since we are close to food. Cattle need humus to give more yield“, Says the farmer.
To understand how difficult it is for local farmers, vulnerable to imports, to count the cattle on Edmira’s farm. In this stable, where once there were 120 heads, today there are less than 60. Edmira says that from the Ministry of Agriculture has benefited only 5 million old lekë through the National Scheme, a lot that is negligible in the face of the needs of the farm.
“The product we produce is not sold as well as it deserves. A liter of milk 3 years ago was 380 Lek, now it is 450-480 Lek, farms like me take. While the largest farms receive 600 Lek. I do not even know why this difference is“, She says.
Meanwhile, the costs of milk production have doubled, despite this the price has not changed. Pasteurized milk coming from Serbia currently costs 14 cents less, this price difference makes big traders prefer milk from Serbia instead of “Made In Albania” milk.
“I received only 2 million and 200 thousand lekë for alfalfa. If I did not throw the alfalfa, it sold better than dying. Everything else is growing, and farm production is neither rising nor falling”.
In Kosovo and Northern Macedonia, the farmer is subsidized for livestock feed, number of heads and per liter of milk. In Albania the farmer relies only on the number of heads and with an insufficient amount. Edmira says she will never give up the farm. Although the reality is quite different from her desires.
“My dream is to grow the farm. But as far as I can see. We are just surviving“, Says the farmer.