Tropoja chestnuts are the only Albanian chestnuts that fully meet the quality required for export to Italy and other European Union countries.
Numerous studies have shown that the chestnuts of this area are larger and sweeter than other local chestnuts.
And if you add in the natural forests, the naturally organic produce and the freshness of the Alps where they grow, it unquestionably makes them even more unique in taste.
Tropoja chestnut is the leader in exports, being the only Albanian chestnut that meets the quality criteria to be exported to the EU.
According to traders surveyed by AgroWeb.org, international demand for high-quality chestnuts has been on the rise since the second half of the 1990s, in part due to growing consumer interest in traditional and environmentally friendly products.
Almost the entire amount collected from the Tropoja Chestnut Forest Massif goes for export to Italy and other European Union countries.
In the foreign market, Albanian chestnuts are sold several times more expensive than in the country, bringing a complete contraction of the presence of these chestnuts in the Albanian market.
In Albania, for several years now, there have been five companies that collect chestnuts for export to foreign markets.
Domestic market demand remains high and this indicates opportunities for the development of Albanian chestnuts for export, but especially to meet the needs of the domestic market.
Albanian chestnuts are mostly found on the mountains and hills in Kolgecaj and Lekbibaj in Tropoja, Shënmëri in Kukës, Mes and Shllak in Shkodër, Kashnjet in Lezha, Shupal in Tirana, Pogradec, Muzina in Delvina, Dhrovjan and Leshnica in Saranda.
While other areas such as Berati, Skrapari, Përmeti, Gramsh and Tepelena cultivate chestnuts, but in smaller quantities in a total area of 8000 ha.
There are hundreds of acres in these areas that can be planted with chestnuts, thus greatly increasing the existing number.
Tropoja chestnut massif is in constant need of maintenance, technical support and direct assistance to ensure the continuity of this product so demanded by EU markets.
Why are nuts a golden opportunity for economic growth?
The walnut sector (nuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts and almonds) is generally seen as a sector with high export potential due to its many advantages.
-Favorable climate to land conditions, high profit, unfulfilled international market demand and the fact that it does not require much marketing and storage demand.
-Recent experience and rapid growth of fruit trees show that Albanian farmers are eager and fast in adopting modern production technologies.
-At the same time the cost of labor is very low creating an advantage in this regard.
On the other hand, Albania's proximity to the European Union and its membership process to become an EU member also offer many advantages.
-Low cost of transport and preferential tariff regime for all Albanian products exported to the EU, making them competitive in the market.