Agricultural University of Tirana
  • Tirana, Albania, Albania
Recent publications
An egalitarian society is one that incentivises individuals to use their resources in order to be improve their economic outcomes and achieve social integration. The objective of this paper is to analyse Inequality of Opportunity (IOp), a measure of deprivation which counts for differences in economic outcomes, as well as estimate its effects. The research findings show that IOp is positively associated with statements on beliefs about the unfair distribution of outcomes in the sense of a successful life and towards the most important factors of finding a job at present. On the other hand, higher levels institutional trust reverse the effect of IOp. There are additional positive impacts in terms of such beliefs for those whose access to primary goods is limited due to disfavourable initial conditions at birth (being born in a rural area and being a female),who perceive themselves as belonging to a lower social class and those who have had positive experiences from their interaction with institutions. Findings are especially important in the context of countries with weak institutions and democracy, such as the case of Western Balkans (focus of this paper) and urge for a strengthening of institutions which regulate and support the citizens’ integration into society.
The Balkan Peninsula region has a very diverse agricultural and livestock tradition, and almost every country has its own local breed of sheep. Different breeds of sheep and different breeding traditions, despite the small geographical distance, determine the morphological and morphometric variability among animal breeds. In this study, this morphological diversity among the skulls of sheep breeds of some countries in the Balkan region was examined by the geometric morphometric method. 2D images of 86 sheep skulls from five different countries were analyzed from the dorsal view.Sixteen landmarks were used. The Bardhoka and the Ivesi breed have the broadest distributions of skull shape amongst the sheep breeds. The Ruda sheep is the most morphologically conservative. The sheep from Turkey (Ivesi) and Kosovo (Bardhoka) seem to differ mainly from sheep from other Balkan countries. Bardhoka and Ruda differ most from each other (p <0.0001). The next biggest differences were between Ivesi and Ruda (p < 0.0011) and between Bardhoka and Sharri sheep (p < 0.0016). The sheep breeds Dubska and Lara e Polisit differ the least from each other. Geometrics morphometric analysis is a useful tool to detect differences in the shape of the skull of different sheep breeds and can therefore be used successfully for taxonomic purposes.
In this article, we provide an updated list of freshwater fishes in Albania for each sub-basin. The distribution data and taxa-lists presented are based on a literature review up to October 2022 and intensive fieldwork conducted in the last 15 years. Distributional records of 101 fish species (deriving from 25 families) in 11 different sub-basins are reported. There are new records that include native, alien and translocated fish species. The distinctiveness of Albanian freshwater fishes is highlighted while defining a specific ichthyological region for the whole Balkan region. The freshwater fish fauna of Albania represents a special value of the national heritage, especially due to its diversity and a high degree of endemicity. This is mainly due to the complex geological and climatic conditions, and the location between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas on the west and the continental areas of the Balkans on the other side, which have allowed different colonization from outside the area and long periods of speciation. Eleven hydrographic basin units are analyzed for species composition, evolutionary patterns, and ecological features. This review brings the number of Albanian freshwater fish taxa to 101, with 20 species added from the previous 1995 inventory and several species deleted due to taxonomic changes.
The paper analyses Political Budget Cycles in the context of a young post-communist democracy, Serbia. The authors deploy well-established methodological (time series) approaches to examine the general government budget balance (fiscal deficit) in conjunction with elections. The findings suggest that there is clear evidence of higher fiscal deficit prior to elections—however, this is the case only for regular (scheduled) elections and not so for snap (early called) elections. The paper contributes to the PBC literature by revealing different incumbent behaviour in regular versus early elections, thus highlighting the importance of distinguishing between these types of elections in the domain of PBC research.
Olive processing in Albania is seen as a very profitable sector, mainly in recent years for many agro-processing companies. There has been an increase in the planting of olive trees. The government has also increased support policies for many olive growers by providing various grants or subsidies. The trend of olive production has fluctuated and as a result, the production of olive oil has fluctuated. Both these sectors, production and processing, have reflected many problems in the chain between them. The chain of the agribusiness system does not function properly between them as there is a lack of mutual connection between all actors in the system. There are many factors but some of them can be avoided by giving through this study some possible solutions. The main objective of this study consists in finding possible solutions to the problems faced by the agribusiness system. Also, informing the system’s actors about the benefits of signing agricultural contracts between them. We will focus mainly on one of the chains of the system, the olive oil processing, to present some of the problems faced by this sector and then to offer some possible solutions, first of all, from the point of view of the relationship that must exist between all actors involved in the system.
There is a paucity of literature on children and young people's participation in decision-making within healthcare organisations in New Zealand. This integrative review examined child self-reported peer-reviewed manuscripts and published guidelines, policy, reviews, expert opinion and legislation to explore how New Zealand children and young people participate in discussions and decision-making processes within healthcare settings and what are barriers and benefits to such participation. Four child self-reported peer-reviewed manuscripts and twelve expert opinion documents were retrieved from four electronic databases including academic, government and institutional websites. Inductive content thematic analysis generated one theme (a discourse in children and young people's participation within healthcare settings), four sub-themes, 11 categories , 93 codes and 202 findings. It is evident within this review that there is a discourse between what expert opinion are stating is required to promote children and young people's participation in discussions and decision-making processes within healthcare settings and what is occurring in practice. Despite literature reporting on how children and young people's participation and voice were essential for healthcare provision, there was sparse literature published on children and young
Ukraine really matters to the global food system. The Russian-Ukrainian War disrupted global trade, creating a crisis not only in Ukraine but in other countries that depend on its grain shipments. Here, we analyse the activities of international organisations to mitigate these problems and propose further scenarios for solving acute issues with their participation. We consider the most acute problems in Ukrainian agriculture that also impact global food policy; and priorities in solving the issues of farming in Ukraine that have implications for practical research, policy and agribusiness.
Population genetic analysis of variation at five neutral microsatellite loci for Mediterranean mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) from 18 sites along the eastern Adriatic Sea revealed little or no spatial variation. In contrast, seascape genetics analysis revealed a pronounced locus-specific gradient in allelic and genotypic frequencies across the study region. At a sixth locus, MGE7, the frequencies of two alleles, MGE7243 and MGE7249, were strongly associated, negatively and positively, respectively, with a single environmental variable - minimum salinity (minSAL). The frequency of the MGE7243/243 homozygous genotype was strongly negatively associated with minSAL, whereas the frequencies of the MGE7246/249 and the MGE7249/249 genotypes were strongly positively correlated with minSAL. Interpretation of these pronounced gradients is confounded by the fact that minSAL and another environmental variable, maximum sea surface temperature (maxSST), are highly correlated (R = -.911) and are therefore not necessarily acting independently. BLAST searches of the MGE7 locus against M. galloprovincialis whole genome shotgun sequence returned an alignment with contig mg10_S01094 (accession UYJE01010330.1) and 7 predicted M. galloprovincialis proteins VDI82194.1 - VDI82200.1. Conserved domain searches revealed a similar structure to the transcriptional regulator Msx2-interacting protein. The BLASTp search also returned significant alignments to Msx2-interacting proteins in Mytilus coruscus, Crassostrea virginica, and Haliotis rubra. The existence of the MGE7 gradient highlights the role that environmental variation may play in retarding gene flow among wild M. galloprovincialis populations, and also how the success of collection of young mussels (spat) from one site and their transfer to another site (the farm) may be influenced by a single factor such as minSAL or maxSST on a localized scale.
Herbs have been used for centuries in order to enrich food as preservatives, flavorings, and medicinal agents. The aim of this work was to study the effect of the addition of selected herbal extracts (dried leaves of Thymus vulgaris L., Origanum vulgare L., Satureja hortensis L., Rosmarinus officinalis L., and Ocimum basilicum L.) on selected parameters of fermented flavored cream (counts of starter culture bacteria and pH value) and the resulting flavored butter (water content, water distribution, butter plasma pH, butter fat acidity, and oxidative stability), preceded by a study of the activity of the herbal extracts against starter lactic acid bacteria determined using the well diffusion method. The extracts did not inhibit the starter lactic acid bacteria at a fixed level. The presence of the herbal extracts contributed to a shorter fermentation course and influenced the counts of starter culture bacteria during fermentation and refrigerated storage (at 5 °C) for 21 days. The extract additives did not affect the water content or the degree of its dispersion, the butter plasma pH, or the butter fat acidity. The positive effect of the rosemary and thyme extract addition was only noted when analyzing the oxidative stability of the milk fat of the butter.
The main goal of this research was to evaluate how well existing and emerging land management practices may be used to manage landscapes for various ecosystem services. By employing a mixed methods approach and conducting a case study in the Prespa Lakes watershed in southeast Europe, this goal was achieved. The necessary information was initially gathered using a semi-stratified survey. Following that, the primary ecosystem services and land management practices present in Prespa Lakes watershed were determined via a workshop and a Delphi survey. The identified ecosystem services were ranked using the multi-criteria analytical hierarchy process method. The most important ecosystem service topics included tourism and recreation, maintenance of healthy water bodies, wildlife habitats, healthy food production, natural and heritage values, and biodiversity. Finally, a set of primary priority land management practices for meeting production and ecosystem service goals in the current conditions of the Prespa Lakes watershed was produced utilizing a ranking framework. The very high priority land management practices include livestock breeding to meet both production and conservation objectives, organic farming, diversified crop rotation, crop and tree diversity, restored wetlands, and planning at landscape level. This study provides an important tool for assessing changes in ecosystem service provision under alternative land management practices.
In recent years, agriculture has been the mainstay of the Ukrainian economy. All-out invasion by the Russian Army in early 2022 rendered many territories inaccessible, disrupted trade – and life itself – and prompted a search for solutions and new opportunities. We propose some ways of solving current problems by innovation that could increase the efficiency of the agricultural sector, even during a war. Among these, paradoxically, are both intensification of agriculture and land sparing. But none of these will completely offset the impact of war: we need to use other (not only innovative) methods of enterprise protection.
The meagre Argyrosomus regius (Asso, 1801) is a promising aquaculture species that shows reproductive dysfunctions when reared in tanks. The aim of this study was to assess the capacity of meagre, reared in cages under routine farming conditions, to mature gonads and reproduce spontaneously. Meagre adults, reared in a fish farm located in the Gulf of Taranto (Italy), were sampled from March to July 2021. The gonadosomatic index and sex steroid plasma concentrations increased from March–April to June, and then decreased in July. In March–April, most of the females showed perinucleolar or cortical alveoli oocytes as the most advanced stages in the ovaries, and most of the males had testes at early spermatogenesis stage. In June, most of the sampled females had oocytes at late vitellogenesis or early post-vitellogenesis stages, and males had seminiferous tubules filled with spermatozoa. In July, most of the females had signs of previous spawning, and males showed scarce amounts of luminal spermatozoa. The present study demonstrated the capacity of meagre, reared in sea cages under commercial conditions, to carry out gametogenesis and spontaneously release gametes. Meagre reproduction, under routine farming conditions, may represent an opportunity for the expansion of meagre aquaculture production.
The Albanian agriculture sector is deeply affected by climate change. To cope with climate change, it is necessary to understand its consequences. The views of agriculture extension service experts are crucial in improving farmers’ understanding and resilience, especially when farming practices are poorly adapted to the changing climate. This paper analyses the risks from climate change and the adaptive capacity of farmers based on an expert evaluation survey. The respondents identified prolongation of drought durations, rising temperatures, above-average occurrences of floods, pre-seasonal rainfall and frost as primary risks during recent years. Extension experts view a high (negative) impact from climate change through processes such as increased plant diseases occurrence, increased exposure to rodents, harmful insects and pests for plants and livestock, as well as forest and pasture degradation. The paper also provides experts’ opinions on the policy implications, such as considerations about adaptation strategies towards climate change.
HGF is a protein that binds to the hepatocyte growth factor receptor to regulate cell growth, cell motility and morphogenesis in different cells and tissues. Several bioinformatics tools and in silico methods were used to identify most deleterious nsSNPs that might change the structure and function of HGF protein. The in silico tools such as SIFT, SNP&GO and PolyPhen2 were used to distinguish deleterious nsSNPs from neutral ones. Protein stability is analysed by I‐Mutant, MUpro and iStable. The functional and structural effects are predicted by other tools like MutPred2, Maestro, DUET etc. Analysis of structure was performed by HOPE and Mutation3D. SWISS-MODEL. server, was used for wild type and mutant proteins 3‐D Modelling. Gene–gene and protein–protein interaction were predicted by GeneMANIA and STRING, respectively. The wildtype HGF protein and these three variants were independently docked with their close interactor protein MET by the use of ClusPro. Our study suggested that out of 392 missense nsSNPs of the HGF gene, five nsSNPs (D358G, G648R, I550N, N175S and R220Q), are the most deleterious in HGF gene. Gene–gene interactions showed relation of HGF with other genes depicting its importance in several pathways and co‐expressions. The protein–protein interacting network is composed of 11 nodes. Analysis of protein stability by different tools indicated that the five nsSNPS decreased the stability of the protein. Anyway these nsSNPs need a confirmation analysis by experimental investigation and GWAS studies Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma
At the landscape level, freshwater ecosystems are linked at various spatial and temporal scales by movements of different fauna components adapted to life in water. We review the literature on the state of landscape connectivity and related aquatic species that connect different types of freshwater habitats, focusing on linkages from streams, large rivers and standing water bodies. Based on existing evidence, it is clear that biotic linkages throughout current mosaic have important consequences for biological integrity and biodiversity. The recent developments with regard to urbanization, expansion of urban centers, infrastructure development, and hydropower plant construction in Albania are in line with global destruction and fragmentation of habitats resulting in the parceling up of landscapes that, in this very case, have been caused by human population growth and development activities. The primary aim of this article is to address the landscape connectivity in a wider northeastern part of Albania considering various protected areas. The landscape connectivity is a pillar component of connectivity conservation that has emerged as a response approach to a range of threats to biodiversity, which include habitat degradation and destruction, fragmentation and climate changes. The approach analyses of landscape connectivity were defined from a human perspective in a linkage among different protected areas, including National Park Albanian Alps, Nature Park Korrab-Koritnik, National Park ShebenikJabllanica, Pogradec Landscape Protected Areas and National Park Prespa. The basis of this analysis lies in the Network of Protected Areas (NPAs) of Albania. Cumulatively, the protected areas connectivity, aquatic ecosystem linkage and individual movements connect populations within and among landscape mosaics and contribute to national and regional diversity and resilience to disturbance. This study highlights the importance of considering both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems connectivity in conservation planning and management.
The chamomile drug (Chamomillae anthodium) is widely known and has been used as a medicine for ages. Today, the drug is officially registered in the European Pharmacopoeia. Despite the economic importance of the chamomile Matricaria recutita L., little is known about the extent and nature of the essential oil variability and composition of this species in Albania. Therefore, information about the extent of the uses of various gene pools is extremely valuable for the development of future chamomile cultivation and breeding programs. This study aimed to analyze the differences among 29 populations in different sites in central Albania. The quantities of essential oils ranged from a low of 0.10 ± 0.01% in Fier and Tirana to a high of 0.75 ± 0.05% in Linzȅ. The yield of volatile oils depended on the geography, altitude, and other factors, including stress influences on the site of plant population growth. This fact was confirmed by various subclimatic characteristics obtained from individual localities. Essential oil extracted from chamomile inflorescences was recorded to have between 23 and 43 chemical components. It was found that /-/-α-bisabololoxides B and A were the major constituents in 25 samples, with only 4 having dominant /-/-α-bisabolol. The uniquely determined chemical type of the chamomile wild populations in Albania was chemical type B (/-/-α-bisabololoxide B > /-/-α-bisabololoxide A > /-/-α-bisabolol). Based on the study of chamomile’s pharmacodynamic properties, the sesquiterpenes /-/-α-bisabolol and chamazulene are considered to be the most valuable constituents. Consequently, a very intensive improvement breeding program must begin, with emphasis on drug yield, polyploidization, essential oil quantity, and both component contents in the oil.
Fishermen from 9 countries distributed throughout the Mediterranean Sea were interviewed between May and December 2019 with the aim of compiling information about the current impact of fisheries on a large deepwater shark species, the bluntnose sixgill shark (Hexanchus griseus). A total of 382 professional fishermen belonging to 6 different gears (bottom trawling, bottom longline, drifting longline, trammel nets, gillnets and polyvalent) took part in the study. Bottom trawlers were the most interviewed fishermen (n = 148) and the best fleet coverage was obtained for bottom longline (38.89%). Results showed most captures of H. griseus occur in the Western and Central Mediterranean Sea, particularly during the warm months of the year and most commonly by bottom trawlers and bottom longliners. At-vessel mortality (AVM) was rather low in all gears but a slightly higher degree of individual mortality is suggested in trammel and gillnets. The population trend of H. griseus in the Mediterranean Sea could not be inferred from the interviews as answers were highly variable, but the overall trend in some countries may suggest this species is showing signs of population decrease. The results of this study are mostly aligned with the latest IUCN assessment but also recommend reviewing the current status of H. griseus in the Mediterranean basin. Further empirical research on post-release mortality would also be advisable to implement measures that help reduce this source of mortality.
Scaphoideus titanus Ball is a major pest of grapevine in Europe, being the main vector of Flavescence dorée phytoplasma (FDp). The North American grapevine leafhopper was identified in neighboring countries, however, the FDp vector was not recorded and there is no available data on its presence in Kosovo. In 2021, initial investigations were conducted and field surveys were carried out in the region of Rahovec in order to evaluate the presence of S. titanus in Kosovarian vineyards. The survey was established in seventeen vineyards in different locations and grapevine varieties. In the middle of June, in each vineyard chosen for investigation were settled yellow sticky traps for surveying and sampling of leafhoppers. All plantations were subjected to fungicide treatment and no insecticide treatment was applied for S. titanus. The captures on the yellow sticky traps indicated that the North American grapevine leafhopper was present in Kosovo. Its population was different in investigated vineyards. Of the seventeen vineyards monitored, in twelve of them was captured the FDp vector, two sticky traps were damaged, and in three vineyards was not captured any specimen of Scaphoideus titanus. An average, of two up to forty-nine specimens of S. titanus per trap were collected over the surveyed period from the beginning of June until the end of September 2021. These results show only the distribution of S. titanus in the surveyed area. Furthermore, the presence of the North American grapevine leafhopper in Kosovo is an alert for urgent phytosanitary control of the quarantine phytoplasma Flavescence dorée (FD).
Canine leishmaniosis (CanL) is a neglected zoonotic disease caused by Leishmania spp. Leishmania infantum is the species responsible for the zoonotic form of the disease where dogs are reservoir hosts. This study aimed to determine the seroprevalence of CanL in asymptomatic dogs in Kosovo. Blood samples were collected from 285 dogs in all seven regions in Kosovo (35–50 samples per region) from summer 2021 to spring 2022. Sera were tested using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and the presence of anti-Leishmania IgG was confirmed by an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). The true overall seroprevalence of CanL of asymptomatic dogs in Kosovo with ELISA was 4.21% (95% CI: 2.42–7.21) while with IFAT was 3.51% (95% CI: 1.92–6.34). The highest rates were found in the Prishtina region to be 8.0% (4/50) by ELISA and 6.0% (3/50) by IFAT, and in the Mitrovica region, the prevalence was 0% (0/40). There were no significant differences among the different regions, gender, age, health status, and breed. These findings highlight the presence of CanL in most regions of Kosovo and underline the veterinary relevance of clinically asymptomatic dogs infected with Leishmania.
Featured Application: The study showed the possibility of producing innovative vegetarian yoghurt products with plant-based ingredients, such as a soya beverage with symbiotic lactic acid bacteria and propionic acid bacteria starter cultures. This opens the way for the future development of functional cow's milk-soya fermented products, such as yoghurts, which combine the effects of both lactic acid bacteria and propionic acid bacteria. Abstract: Many diet trends have emerged over the last few years, including plant-based diets with soya as an important component, while fermented milk beverages have been an integral part of the human diet for thousands of years. However, there is little research on the potential of using propionic bacteria for dairy or plant-based food fermentation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of soy beverage addition and propionic bacterium application on the quality of dairy yoghurt products. Three variants of the products-based on cow's milk, soya beverages, and mixtures of both-were prepared and then fermented with yoghurt bacteria, propionic bacteria or a mixture thereof. It was found that it is possible to obtain functional yoghurt products based on cow's milk, as well as milk-soya blends, using a mixture of yoghurt and propionic cultures. The resulting milk, milk-soya, and soya yoghurt products displayed pH values in the correct range and a stable bacterial population during refrigerated storage for 21 days. The refrigerated storage time and the type of culture starter used significantly determined the quality characteristics of the milk, milk-soya and soya yoghurt products, such as their firmness, adhesiveness, and water-holding capacity.
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641 members
Endrit Kullaj
  • Department of Horticulture
Kastriot Korro
  • Department of Veterinary Public Health -Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Ferdi Brahushi
  • Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Xhelil Koleci
  • Department of Veterinary Public Health
Sokol Duro
  • Department of Morpho-functional Subjects
Kodër Kamëz, 1029, Tirana, Albania, Albania
Head of institution
Prof.Dr. Fatbardh Sallaku