UN Women -- On the fertile and lush fields of the Dibra region, one of the poorest in Albania, located on the north-east border of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 47-year-old Emrie Lata and her husband collect their daily harvest. Emrie has worked on this land most of her life, collecting forest fruits, vegetables and medicinal herbs, which she sells for a profit. Her husband is unemployed and Emrie has to support the family, including their three sons. One of them has emigrated abroad in order to help the family, but his income alone is not enough.
Now, thanks to a new initiative that provides business skills and support to rural women in Albania, Emrie’s small agricultural business is becoming profitable and has increased her family’s income. Implemented since October 2013 by Albania’s Institute for Democracy and Mediation and the local organization Agritra Vision, with support from UN Women and the Swedish Government, the "Empowering Women through Economic Cluster Development” project aims to bring rural women farmers together to sell their products in cooperative associations and other self-organized groups.