AHEED Activities

IAMA icon 1- IFAMA

The International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA, formerly IAMA) is a well-known worldwide leadership conference attended by top executives, academics, policy makers, students and stakeholders from all around the world. Through the assistance of the AHEED project, several students and faculty of AUT and collaborators were able to attend, present and learn from IFAMA conferences held in Budapest, Hungary in June 2009, as well as in Boston, MA in 2010 and Frankfurt, Germany in 2011.

Budapest 2009

Discussion Session:
1. “Market Oriented Strategies for Revitalizing Albania Agricultural Industry”

Paper Presentations

Poster Presentation

“Assessing the Comparative Advantage of Olive Oil Production in Albania”

Boston 2010

Two research projects were done on Albanian Olive Oil and Wine that were collaboration with AUT faculty and AHEED’s Dr. Chan-Halbrendt and two UH graduate assistants.  These two papers were submitted along with other AUT research to the IAMA 2010 conference with a total of 4 paper presentations and 2 posters accepted.

AUT faculty who were able to attending the conference presented 4 papers. Of the 4 papers submitted, the paper on “Consumer preferences for Olive Oil: The case of Albania” was one of the Top 10 Best Papers Finalist in the conference. The paper on olive oil was also published in the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review (Vol. 13, Issue 3, 2010).

boston group pic

UH and AUT AHEED Participants at IFAMA's Boston 2010 Conference


AUT Researchers' Poster Presentation at IFAMA's Boston 2010 Conference

Frankfurt 2011

On June 20 – 24, representatives from the AHEED project attended the 21st Annual IFAMA Conference in Frankfurt, Germany. Five faculty members from AUT FEA attended this year and presented seven papers. For two of them, this was not only their first time at IFAMA but also the first time they attended any international conference. In addition, for the first time two AUT FEA faculty members (Drini Imami and Xhevahire Dulja) participated as section moderators.

  1. Milk Market Desegmentation: Study on the Consumers Preferences in Urban Albania”,Eda Deci; Ana Kapaj, Agriculture University of Tirana, Albania; Catherine Chan-Halbrendt, University of Hawaii, USA
  2. Analyzing Consumer Choices Under Food Safety Uncertainty. The Case of Small Ruminant Meat in Tirana”Drini Imami; Edvin Zhllima, Agriculture University of Tirana, Albania; Maurizio Canavari, University of Bologna, Italy
  3. Alternative Solutions for Efficient Use of Refused Land in Shangjergj Commune in Albania”Xhevaire Dulja; Galantina Canco; Ledia Thoma (Boshnjaku); Henrieta Themelko, Agricultural University of Tirana, Albania
  4. Quantifying Factors that Influence Implementation of QMS (Quality Management Systems) in Meat Processing Industry in Albania Using Ordinal Logistic Regression”Ilir Kapaj;Remzi Keco, Hohenheim University, Albania; Reiner Doluschitz,Hohenheim University, Germany
  5. Conjoint Analysis of Consumer Preferences for Lamb Meat in Central and Southwest Urban Albania”Drini Imami; Edvin Zhllima, Agriculture University of Tirana, Albania; CatherineChan-Halbrendt; Quanguo Zhang, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA
  6. Consumers’ Preferences for Apple Fruits in Tirana Market Using a Conjoint Analysis”Drini Imami; Engjell Skreli, Agriculture University of Tirana; Alban Jaupi; Arbi Fortuzi; Alban Cela, INSTAT; Tatjana Dishnica, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Protection, Albania
  7. Consumer Preferences for Table Olives in Tirana”Edvin Zhllima; Arben Vercuni; Elvina Merkaj; Irma Qinami; Drini Imami, Agriculture University of Tirana, Albania; Catherine Chan-Halbrendt, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA


2- International Education Day, April 23, 2009 and March 18, 2011

The International Education Day is held at the State Capitol Building in Honolulu, Hawaii.  This fair gives many programs the opportunity to showcase their project to the community and to the legislators about the “importance of global education, and the programs and services that [the] organization is providing throughout Hawaii” as well as the opportunity to network with other programs.  The AHEED project has participated both years, along with the KAHEAD project to represent the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

  1. Poster presentation (ppt)

  2. 2011 poster presentation

3-AUT Conferences

The conference entitled “Farm Efficiency and Vertical Integration of Stakeholders as a Very Important Factor of Increasing Competitiveness. The Role of Private and Public Stakeholders” was organized by the Agricultural University of Tirana and co-sponsored by the AHEED project. The second annual agricultural economics symposium was held in July 2010 and was entitled “Globalization and its Implication for Albanian Agriculture and Food Sector”. As part of increasing/building learning capacity, showcasing projects done by students and faculty gives them the opportunity to learn and increase their skills in presenting their research work.  This conference also offers them the opportunity to network with other local researchers and provide the presenters with the chance to give information to the general public.  Dr. Halina Zaleski from the AHEED project attended the conference and presented information on “Research Ethics.”

  1. Research Ethics presentation
   Research       Ethics powerpoint_icon.gif                    Research          Ethics(Albanian) powerpoint_icon.gif

Photos from the July 2010 Annual Conference at AUT:





June 16-17, 2011

For the third year, the Agriculture University of Tirana, Faculty of Economy and Agribusiness (AUT/FEA) organized the International Conference on Agricultural issues.  This year’s topic was “Fostering Development of Agriculture through Improved Use of Agricultural Resources”, and included presentations by researchers from Albanian universities as well as those from Kosovo, Macedonia, Italy and beyond. 

For the first time since its inception, the conference was expanded to two days.  The conference opened on June 16, 2011 at Tirana International Hotel.  This first day was organized as a symposium in which different invited speakers discussed Albanian agriculture in the context of EU integration.  This day was organized into three sections: 

1. Welcome Address to the Conference (chair, Dr. Bahri Musabelliu)

2.  Key Challenges in Agriculture and Rural Development in the Contex of EU integration (chair, Dr. Birgit Schaefer)

3.  Support Programs for the Agricultural Sector (chair, Prof.Dr. Chatherine Chan Halbrendt).  

Invited speakers included: the dean of the FEA; the rector of AUT; the Vice Minister of MoAFCP; personnel from such supporting projects as USAID, GIZ-EU-IPA, and AHEED; representatives from the World Bank and FAO; the German ambassador; and the Albanian Ambassador to the EU Delegation.

Dr. Chan-Halbrendt's Presentation

The second day of the conference was held at the Faculty of Economy and Agribusiness on June 17 and served as a venue for researchers to present their work.  In total, 21 oral presentations and 24 posters were presented during the conference, including a poster competition for students.  Seven posters developed by nine students were entered into the competition.  Students presented their work to a jury composed of: Prof.Dr. Catherine Chan-Halbrendt (Director of the AHEED Project), Ass.Prof. Engjell Skreli (Professor at FEA), PhD.Ana Kapaj (Professor at FEA and AHEED office Coordinator) and PhD.Drini Imami (Professor at FEA). The three best posters were chosen (see below), and the winner received a monetary award.



Poster title


Fabiola Arapi

Albanian consumer perception on standardized products


Shpresim Domi

Cooperating Potentials between farmers in the Marikaj area


Edmond Cera

Albanian Agriculture facing food global crisis



In February of 2009, two workshops, Grant Writing and Prioritization Setting, were conducted by Dr. Chan-Halbrendt.  Both workshops were open to and attended by the general public, students and faculty of AUT, public and private sector businesses.

In 2010, more workshops were included on techniques for conference and publication submissions and Conjoint Choice Experiment methodology.

  1. Grant Writing presentation
  2. Priority Setting presentation
  3. IFAMA Conference Paper Submission Guidelines presentation
  4. Publication Standards and Technique presentation
  5. Conjoint Choice Methodology presentation
Grant Writing Workshop
Prioritization Setting Workshop
Prioritization Setting Workshop (Albanian)


Conference Submissions Workshop


Publication Dos and

Don'ts Workshop


Conjoint Choice Methodology Workshop


2011 Workshops

In January, 2011 two workshops were conducted by Dr. Chan-Halbrendt.  The first focused on the SSI software package and the other on the design and analysis of consumer preference studies.  The aim of these workshops was to introduce new methodologies to the AUT/FEA researchers. This software is of particular importance to several of the projects financed by the AHEED and USAID/AAC mini-grants program.  The workshops were attended by 13 AUT faculty members, nine of whom are currently participating in AHEED project sponsored consumer preference studies. The other participants were interested in learning the new methodology to apply to future studies.

An “Introduction to Latent Class Modeling” course was taught by Will Barker from January 7 - February 4, 2011 and funded by the AHEED project.  The four week course covered the background of latent class modeling and its applications through a tutorial of the software used and assigned practice exercises (for more details, see http://www.statisticalinnovations.com/services/course.html).  Students were able to communicate online with the instructor in order to enrich their leaning through discussions, ask questions of the instructor, and exchange experiences.  Four AHEED project cooperators from both AUT and UH participated in the course.  All had a special interest in cluster analysis, market segmentation and consumer preferences and will use the information and skills gained in future research focused on these topics.

Research Methodologies for Agriculture Economic Studies, Aug 2011

In order to enhance the AHEED project's ability to empower AUT’s faculty, we have just taught our first class via Blackboard Collaborate. The use of this cutting edge technology allowed Dr. PingSun Leung (NREM) to teach the workshop “Research Methodologies for Agriculture Economic Studies” in August, in a virtual on-line classroom from the comforts of his office at UH while students in Albania followed along on an interactive, real time platform. Topics such as stochastic production frontiers, causal inference in observational studies and switching regression were covered, and eight AUT faculty members and six students participated in the course.  Overall, participants found the class and the new techniques it taught to be a highly valuable experience.   The case studies presented, using real studies, applications and new methodologies, including an introduction to STATA software, had great impact. Attendees will use all the theories and the methodology learned to develop new agricultural research in the next year.
Part of the great value attendees found in this course was the novel use of Blackboard Collaborate. Some attendees were able to follow the course on-line from their home and all have expressed their interest in having more courses like this in the future.  Dr. Chan-Halbrendt and AHEED project collaborators are very excited by the success of this class and the technology. It promises to greatly increase the flow of knowledge and expertise from UH to AUT, and enhance the project’s ability to meet its goals.

5-USAID Education Officers' Workshop

Dr. Chan-Halbrendt had the honor of being invited to participate in the 2011 USAID Education Officers' Workshop which took place in Washington, D.C. on August 23, 2011. She participated in the session entitled Applications of Science and Technology for Development, and presented some of the acheivements and challenges of the AHEED project.

Dr. Chan-Halbrendt's Education Officers' Workshop Presentation

Contact:  Dr. Catherine Chan-Halbrendt
                  Phone: (808) 956-2626
                   Fax: (808) 956-6539
                  E-mail: chanhalb@hawaii.edu