Romania’s Agri Minister plans new investments in irrigation
Romanian Minister of Agriculture Adrian Chesnoiu would like to finalize 22 new investments in irrigation infrastructure by end-2022. He also speaks about the new irrigation law, which will allow farmers to build local irrigation systems but also the access to an up to 50 percent electricity subsidy also for those farmers who do not have water-supply contracts with the National Agency for Land Improvement (ANIF).
During a recent field visit, Minister Chesnoiu spoke to farmers about the new investments in irrigation this year. "This year I aim to receive 22 new investments in irrigation infrastructure and this is the mandate I have given to the ANIF management. On the other hand, the third line of action aimed at the implementation of local irrigation systems, and not coincidentally in the National Strategic Plan (PNS) we allocate 100 million euros for farmers and their local irrigation systems, and 400 million for the rehabilitation of secondary infrastructure managed through water users’ organizations ", said the minister. According to him, Romania currently has 1.3 million hectares of rehabilitated viable area where farmers have access to water for irrigation. "On the other hand, we want to expand this area to 2 million hectares, renovate the systems," the government official stressed.
Adrian Chesnoiu mentioned also the Law on amending the legal framework for irrigation, through which farmers can be supported to develop local irrigation systems (independent from the current infrastructure), and which received in mid-April the vote of the Parliament. "A second piece of good news concerns the amendments to Law 138 on Irrigation, through which we managed to extend the implementation of the main infrastructure restoration program until 2027, we also introduced drainage in this program. We have increased the budget from 1 billion euros to 1.5 billion for the coming years and we give farmers the opportunity to build their own local irrigation systems, thus having a multidirectional approach to the problem of irrigation in Romania. Because we need to keep in mind the reality of old systems and their expansion. But at the same time, this law allows those who irrigate from other sources of water supply, not only those who have contracts with ANIF, to benefit from the compensation of electricity for irrigation, up to 50 percent", the minister pointed out. Expenditures, up to 50%, related to electricity consumption, necessary to provide water for irrigation by the owners of local irrigation systems, independent of land improvement infrastructure, will be borne from the ANIF budget, on the same principles already applied to farmers which use the main irrigation infrastructure and currently benefit from this measure.