This gift in action
In Rrapsh-Stare, a remote Albanian mountain village, Oxfam is helping farmers to learn new ways to beat poverty and changing weather patterns.
We've provided seeds and training to grow new crops. We've helped farmers to sell co-operatively, so they can demand better prices. And we’re providing better packaging so their produce can be sold more widely. Smart, simple solutions that are making a big difference, to farmers like Ndok Shabaj: "With help from Oxfam I ran an experiment to prove that we could grow nuts. So now I am the expert here! Walnuts grow well in the increasingly dry conditions, they're easy to preserve and there's a gap in the market, which means we'll get a good price."
The nuts, however, are a long-term project, taking around six years before they're ready to harvest. So, in the interim Oxfam has also helped Ndok do more with the farmers' traditional crop, potatoes.
"We used to reuse huge 50kg flour sacks for our potatoes. They were difficult to transport and store. At the market, customers couldn't see the quality and families didn't want such huge bags. Oxfam provided smaller five and ten kilo net bags and labels for our potatoes, and now they sell really well because people can see the quality of the produce. It's important that people know that they're Rrapsh-Stare organic potatoes."