The IOA has endorsed environmental friendly technologies in various vineyards in Albania helping farmers reduce costs by avoiding completely the use of insecticides for grape moth (Lobesia botrana Schiff) control as well as spider mite, and botrytis (Botrytis cinerea). The replacement of conventional insecticides with biotechnical products has enriched the beneficial fauna in the vineyard and beneficial microorganisms in the soil. Combination of biotechnical methods against grape moth (L. botrana) with friendly method in soil management and plant nutrition has resulted in the reduction of costs and improved environmental protection from the chemical residues. The method is quite simple to implement in the practice, especially when considering that vineyards are situated in hills where the implementation of spraying techniques is very difficult and with high costs.
Institute of Organic Agriculture - AlbaniaLead applicant
The staff of the Institute previously was engaged in organic farming activity within the Albanian Organic Agriculture Association. However in year 2009 the Association it converted into Institute for Organic Agriculture (IOA). The Institute has implemented many projects with different donors such as the Institute for Organic Agriculture, (FiBL),Switzerland, the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (IAMB), GEF (UNDP), and the Spanish cooperation. The Institute has its collection made of blocks of apples and grape cultivars that are resistant to various diseases. The IOA has its own electronic weather station for prognosis of the main insects, pests and diseases. The main activities are: on farm research, extension, publication and documentation. The Institute pays particular attention to strengthening the links with individual farmers and/or associations and farmer groups. An important activity is the Training of Trainers that is contracted by the Ministry of Agriculture. The IOA has its website and has developed a warning system for plant protection. In addition it has set up a monitoring network for controlling infection from insects with pheromones to inform in real time farmers on the measures that need to take to reduce infection damage. Much of this information is disseminated through the IOA website (www.ibb.al )
Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Water Administration - AlbaniaInitiative partner
It is a governmental entity which has on is focus: Agriculture and livestock; rural development, water administration, advisory servise for farmers, fisheries, irrigation and drainage, food safety...
Agricultural University of Tirana, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment - AlbaniaInitiative partner
Faculty of Agriculture and Environment aims at becoming a modern contemporary center for undergraduate and graduate studies, scientific research and training and preparing specialist in the field of agriculture and food. It aims at becoming a referring point for the rural and agriculture development by directly contributing to the European integration of the country. The mission of the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment is to realize professional training of specialist in the field of agriculture and environment, promote respective departments and academic staff in facing time challenges such as: forecasting of food resources, sustainable development of agriculture, protection and regeneration of resources, traditional use of productive resources, provision of ecologically clean products, food safety etc., through active participation of students and academic staff in more advanced education, research and training programmes.
Conventional agriculture has proven to be un-sustainable due to adverse impacts on soil quality, biodiversity and overall environmental functions and services. While Organic Farming has tremendous advantages against conventional agriculture its share on the overall global food production remains still low. Same holds true for vine production, a sector that both globally and locally is expanding rapidly. We propose hence an alternative method in vine production in Albania through a combination of methods that include bio-pest control, green soil fertilisation and efficient irrigation systems.
The experiment was carried out in a vineyard which is managed in an organic way for 6 years. In this block of the vineyard, there are used inputs that are listed in the standard of organic agriculture. In this block biodiversity (below and above soil), the soil hygiene and situation of beneficial fauna will be analyzed according to both organic and conventional systems. Organic and green manure are used for soil and plant nutrition. Copper and sulfur products are used for plant protection against main diseases. Copper and sulfur products are the basis of what we call fungicides (which are chemical compounds or biological organisms used to kill or inhibit fungi or fungal spores). Confusion pheromones are used to control grape morth (Lobesia botrana) a key pest as everywhere in Europe, Asia and Albania too. Weeds regulation will be done through cultivation and mulching of the land. The method is new for Albanian vineyard. The ecological and economical differences between conventional vineyard and biological vineyard are analyzed for the first time. The priorities of bio production system are reflected in some elements as soil fertility, microorganism dynamics, and economic advantages. This method is a new practice for Albanian agriculture but also for Balkan countries. The method will open the way for implementation of this method in other crops too.
Food security is linked to many components, such as high quality produce, increased income for the farmers, sustainable use of natural resources etc. Our example in Vila Duka shows that if one finds the right crop for a particular soil and climate and endorse organic farming methods it is possible to make a difference and enter in the highly competing wine market. The success of this enterprise is shown by the awards and contracts stipulated with the best restaurants of the capital Tirana and touristic city of Durres.
Biotechnical method of vine production with confusion pheromones has great advantages compared to conventional methods based on massive use of chemical insecticides. Infection from grape moth larvae was only 2 % at the bio-vineyard against 11 % in conventional one.
Soil fertility: the quantity of macro nutrients (NPK) and microelements like Mg in the soil are in every case much higher in bio-vineyard than in conventional vineyard .The organic matter content is higher in bio-vineyard than in conventional vineyard, respectively 1,7 and 1,4 %.
Environmental impact: The quantity of earthworms (Lumbricus terrestis) as the main indicator of soil quality is eight time higher per 1m2.of land in the bio-vineyards compared to conventional vines.
Vila DUKA has employed hundreds of people for both field farming operations and wine processing. So these are the main beneficiaries, since un-employment rate is quite high in the region. The use of bio-pest control has reduced farming costs and improved environmental quality.
Ass. Prof. Dr. Enver ISUFI
Specialist on Agriculture
Fjodor Merkuri Kacaku
Student in “Tutgut Ozal” College Tirana, Albania
The fungal diseases in the organically managed vineyard are a little higher than those managed conventionally, but the same cannot be said about the damages made by the grape moth (Lobesia botrana) where the organically managed vineyard is almost immune because it is carefully treated with confusion pheromones while in the conventionally managed vineyard the grape moth is treated by using common conventional insecticides.
Environmental facts were mentioned above, they include improved soil quality, reduced pollution of soil and water, total erosion control through the cultivation of cover crops, green manuring, and total ban on chemical inputs.
If there are 250 bio-farms in Albania, this means that the need for dissemination of best practices in pest control and organic farming production are strong. The Institute of Organic Agriculture will continue to play a crucial role towards dissemination of methods and techniques that focus not only on bio-wine production but also in fresh fruit and vegetables and the strict certification of these products. Through the web page of the IOA farmers, producers and traders alike have the possibility to find answers to their problems. They could search for the latest scientific research results, on-going projects in Albania, events and suggestions for a number of technical issues.
Implementation in the practice of confusion pheromones against key pest grape moth (Lobesia botrana) in vineyard has convinced some donors to support the grape producer to give up conventional insecticides and to use bio technical methods with confusion pheromones. Swiss Government and Institute for Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland have given and continue to give a good support for Albanian farmers. Recently the innovation was evaluated and presented in Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China in October 2012. The project was awarded with the third prize (http://www.hkisf.org/portal/en/).