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Tirana 1992Albania 1991-'92:
No car ownership, hardly any roads or infrastructure, only large, government controlled agricultural communities where almost everything is done by hand and aged Chinese factories, no computers, no color pictures, no bananas or any luxury items, overcrowded prisons and boot camps, not a single church or mosque. In June of 1992 the first team of Agrinas visits Albania and we are astonished by what we see… In the fall of 1992 we start with our activities.

FarmerAlbania 1996:
Traffic jams in the capital, in the rural areas still no cars, tens of thousands of miniscule farms with an average of less than 1 hectare, on all street corners small booths (predominantly) selling bananas, everywhere bars, color print shops and private stores are appearing, as well as churches and mosques.Hundreds of thousands of men work - mostly illegal - in countries like Greece and Italy. Since 1994 Agrinas has an office in the city of Pogradec and develops projects in the area of seed potatoes, irrigation and agricultural extension.

Albania April 1997:
Plundering crowds are wandering about everywhere after in March the pyramid schemes have collapsed, in which almost everyone had invested money. Ammunition deposits of the army everywhere in the country have been looted and there are hundreds of casualties as a result of murders with robbery and accidents. Everywhere in the country is chaos, everywhere are looting crowds and many government buildings, banks, but also private houses and hotels are destroyed. Most custom offices are destroyed and anyone can simply walk into the country, Transport 1997but few foreigners risk that. Also the Agrinas office is destroyed. The biggest part of the inventory has disappeared and two project cars are stolen… In the middle of the crisis Agrinas decides anyway to organize a seed potato transport from The Netherlands. Heavily armed with Kalashnikovs the transport reaches the mountain village.

Albania 1999:
Several hundreds of thousands of Albanian refugees from Kosovo are pouring into Albania. Many empty government buildings are being used to house the refugees.Kosovar Refugee In the city of Pogradec Agrinas personnel lead the reception of about 350 refugees in a hurriedly fixed-up factory. Also in the city of Erseka, where Agrinas has had a project since 1998, employees of Agrinas are involved in receiving refugees. Several months later the refugees leave as quickly as they came.

Albania 2000:
The country slowly begins to revive after the crises of 1997 en 1999. Foreign investments are very slow in the beginning. The two Dutch couples left Albania by the end of 1999 and Agrinas Albania becomes independent before it is really ready. But in this period there is a lot of money available for projects because stabilization of the Balkans has high priority in The West. From the office in The Netherlands this process is being accompanied as good as possible.

Albania 2004:
Map AlbaniaThe capital Tirana and also the city of Pogradec are hardly recognizable anymore. Tall buildings have risen everywhere and tens of thousands of people are continuing to flock into the cities from the impoverished rural areas. Many villages in faraway mountainous areas have been left desolate. Also many people leave Albania altogether in order to find prosperity in Canada, de USA and Europe.

Agrinas Albania:
Since January 1, 2000, Agrinas Albania has become an independent Albanian foundation with a local board. The head office is in Pogradec and there is a second office in Erseka (the Kolonjë district, closed in 2008). Also in the mountain area of Mokra (Pogradec district) is the autonomous farmers association 'Elia'. This association came into existence through the Agrinas projects and is carrying out many of the Agrinas activities.
 

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