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About half of the economically active population is employed in agriculture. Arable land amounts to only one-fourth of the total land area, yet the country meets nearly all its food needs from domestic production.
In the mid-1970s, moreover, Albania became selfsufficient in bread grains. Main crops are wheat, corn (maize), sugar beets, cotton, sunflower seeds, tobacco, potatoes, and fruits. Major livestock are sheep, goats, cattle, and pigs.

The communist government allocated substantial resources to the development of agriculture. Large-scale programs of land reclamation, soil improvement, and irrigation, as well as increased use of fertilizers, all contributed to a significant expansion of agricultural production. Yet, despite impressive gains, agricultural production continues to be hindered by the persistence of traditional farming methods, low mechanization, and a lack of material incentives to encourage farmers to produce.

This lasting legacy of the forced collectivization of agriculture and the abolition of private property has made it necessary to return land to the peasants and allow them to raise crops and livestock for private profit. The expansion of private agriculture is intended to pave the way for the introduction of new farming techniques and mechanization.

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