Romanian farmers propose - National Strategic Potato Plan to save sector
The Romanian Farmers Club and the Romanian National Potato Federation propose to the authorities the implementation of a National Strategic Potato Plan, to save an economic sector in great difficulty and harmonise the trade balance, which now registers a deficit of 50-60 pct, the representatives of the two organizations say.
The main limiting factors in potato cultivation in Romania are the excessive fragmentation of te land, often low technical level, small size agricultural holdings, poor quality of seeding material and, above all, lack of adequate storage space.
"Romania should hold the second place at European level in terms of the arable area for potato cultivation, but the low yield and lack of individual warehouses of the Romanian farmers cannot give us this prestigious position in the continental ranking. Unfortunately, Romanian potato producers have to sell their production immediately after harvest at low prices, due to the lack of storage space in optimal conditions throughout the year. In this way, massive potato imports take place in our country every year," said Laszlo Becsek, vice-president of the Romanian Farmers Club.
According to a release of the two organizations, the Romanian Farmers Club and the National Potato Federation had a first meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Adrian-Nechita Oros, in which the proposal for the implementation of a National Strategic Potato Plan was presented. The two organisations argued for the need for the ministry to re-analyze the partial distribution of the amounts allocated to the support coupled to the early potato measure for industrialization and the seed potato. The Club and the Federation carried out an analysis in this regard and provided the ministry with detailed economic and technical data.
"We believe that the repeated redistribution, each year, of the amounts allocated to this crop to other measures seriously harms potato growers, very few in fact, growers who have already suffered significant losses to the table potato crop, sold in 2020 below the cost price. The low price of table potatoes will also be directly reflected on the few seed potato producers left in Romania, who are practically without customers and are in danger of drastically reducing the area forecast for the current year," says Romulus Oprea, president of the Potato National Federation in Romania.
Source: Agerpres 2021