The growing demand for the consumption of nuts and the suitable climatic conditions for their production in the north of the country create opportunities for profits in the inhabitants of these areas. A study by professors Drini Imami and Engjëll Shkreli, funded by the EBRD, confirms that walnuts (and especially chestnuts) are an important source of income for communities where intensive agriculture is not appropriate, and where employment alternatives are scarce. Chestnuts in particular turns out to be the most important nut product in terms of production and international trade. The data show that almost 50% of fruit exports from Albania are dominated by chestnuts. Globally, Albania is ranked 9th for world chestnut exports. Currently chestnut production is largely based on existing, organic forest massifs. Some parts of the production areas are certified as organic, a fact which presents a clear competitive potential for export.
Chestnut business becomes favorable because Albania has organic produce that can be sold at a high price in international markets and on the other hand, chestnut has less cost than other fruits as it grows in forests in free condition and generally maintenance costs.
Albania produces approximately over 6 thousand tons of chestnuts per year. Kukes region is the main area of chestnut production. A large mass of 2000 ha is located in Tropoja (in the region of Kukes).
The region of Shkodra, and respectively Malësia e Madhe, is also an important area for the production of chestnuts.Thanks to the high quality, about 50% of the production is exported mainly to Italy. The districts of Dibra, Puka, Shkodra, Bulqiza, Librazhd and Mat are also important producers of chestnuts.