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Future of Water in Agriculture in Albania

February 22, 2022

Virtual event

  • Agriculture significantly contributes to Albania’s GDP and employs about 40 percent of the total workforce. Irrigated agriculture is critical for inclusive development of the rural economy of Albania. Most of the cultivated land in the country is irrigated.

    Despite recent upward trend in performance, however, the sector is constrained by a host of challenges, especially in infrastructure rehabilitation and modernization needs.

    Irrigated agriculture in Albania, and the associated assets, are vulnerable to various hazards including floods, droughts, and seawater intrusion. It is expected that these threats will be exacerbated due to climate change.

    There is an urgent need for Albania to modernize the country’s degraded irrigation and drainage infrastructure. Regular maintenance will be equally important.

    In Albania, as in other countries in the Western Balkan region, a vibrant private or farmer-led irrigation sector has developed. Private irrigation focuses on growing high-value crops for both local and international markets. If adequately supported, this sector can significantly contribute to the government’s plan of doubling agricultural exports.

    Interventions are required in several areas in order to enhance water security, climate resilience, and agricultural competitiveness, and to ensure revival of the rural economy.

    To achieve optimal use of irrigation potential, there is a need to shift from the current infrastructure-centered intervention approach to the irrigation and drainage (eco)system approachwhich puts farmers and their wide diversity of circumstances squarely at the center of analysis and support.

    Read the full report: Future of Water in Agriculture in Albania

    Additional sources: The Future of Water in Agriculture in the Balkans: The Irrigation & Drainage (Eco)system Approach – Report Brief and Consultation Document

    Connection details

    Facebook Live Streaming through World Bank Albania FB page.

    Participants can ask questions during the event via Zoom chat.

    Join Using Zoom

      Meeting number: 926 6927 6465

      Meeting password: =m@w9R+0tp

  • Opening Remarks

    Emanuel Salinas, World Bank Country Manager for Albania

    Frida Krifca, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development 


    Setting the scene of World Bank engagement in water security agenda in Albania - Winston Yu, World Bank

    ASA results and policy implications – Dr. Regassa Namara, Dr. Ranu Sinha, World Bank  

    Voices from municipalities – Majlinda Bufi, Mayor of Roskovec

    Water Resources and Irrigation project results, benefits, and future engagement opportunities – Drita Dade, Regassa Namara, World Bank

    Q&A, Discussion 


    Drita Dade, World Bank
  • Winston Yu

    Water Practice Manager for the Europe and Central Region at the World Bank. He joined the Bank in 2005 and has carried out projects and studies in the South and East Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa regions. His special interests include river basin management, hydrologic modeling, flood forecasting and management, transboundary issues, irrigation modernization, water institutions, and adaptation to climate change. He is currently on the Technical Committee of the Global Water Partnership and an Adjunct Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University where he teaches courses on international water issues. He holds a PhD in environmental science and engineering from Harvard University.

    Regassa Namara

    Senior Water Resources Economist at the World Bank with over 30 years of research and development experience. At the bank, he leads (or contributes to) the preparation and implementation of several investment and analytical operations, mainly in Europe and Central Asia, but also globally. His main areas of engagement are Irrigation and Drainage, Water Resources Management, Agricultural Development, and International Water Cooperation. He is currently a focal point for World Bank’s farmer-led irrigation development initiative. He holds M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of London (England) and University of Goettingen (Germany), respectively. He has more than 100 scientific publications, more than half of which are in peer reviewed journals, books, and proceedings.

    Drita Dade

    Senior Natural Resources Management Specialist, World Bank Office in, Albania. Her area of expertise is natural resources management, community forestry management, integrated water management, climate change mitigation and adaptation, integrated coastal zone management and rural development. She has intensive work experience in the Western Balkans and Central Asia sub-regions. Currently, she is the Team Leader of the Environmental Services Project in Albania, Integrated Forest Ecosystems Management Project in Kyrgyz Republic, the Resilient Landscape Restoration Project in Tajikistan, and co-Team leader of Water Resources and Irrigation and Blue Economy Development Projects in Albania. Her background is law. She holds a Master of Arts in European Studies and Law.

    Ranu Sinha

    Irrigation and Drainage Specialist with the World Bank Europe and Central Asia Region Water Global Practice. She is a water resources management practitioner with 14+ years of experience with expertise in irrigation modernization, water institutions and governance, river basin management, flood risk management, water economics, and agriculture water management. She specializes in operational engagements in irrigation and drainage across the Southern Caucasus, Eastern Europe, and the Western Balkans at the World Bank. Prior to joining the World Bank, she was Senior Water Resources Management Specialist at the Global Water Partnership and has worked for the IFC. She holds a PhD in water security from the University of Oxford.


  • Date: Feb 22, 2022
  • Time: 15:00-16:30