As one of many EU’s main agricultural producers, Romania is mobilising to fill a number of the gaps left by Russian and Ukrainian exporters. EURACTIV Romania explores how the conflict is re-shaping the nation’s agricultural priorities.
The battle has severely disrupted the EU agri-food sector however significantly left its mark in Romania, which borders Ukraine..
This has positioned Romania on the forefront of filling a number of the gaps left by Russian and Ukrainian exporters.
According to agriculture minister Adrian Chesnoiu, whereas Romania has already included provisions to enhance the resilience of its sector, the nation intends to go one step additional.
“Many of the things we caught in [the CAP plan] also relate to the associated risks. Before the war came, we already had the energy and gas crisis, with an impact on the results,” he advised EURACTIV Romania.
The plan, which particulars the best way during which Romania intends to fulfill the 9 EU-wide aims of the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), was submitted to Brussels simply days after Russia invaded Ukraine, however ready previous to the invasion.
The authorities is now reconsidering its strategy to the plan and Romania’s agricultural technique is prone to be considerably influenced in mild of the conflict in Ukraine.
Romania is particularly pushing on meals processing, earmarking particular funding to extend its capability on this space.
“In order to ensure the necessary food, you have to process the raw material,” Chesnoiu identified.
Meanwhile, based on Sorin Moise, secretary of state within the ministry of agriculture, the areas which are cultivated with sunflower in a number of areas of Romania will likely be bigger than final yr.
For instance, a robust group of farmers from the Mureș space, within the central a part of the nation, have taken the choice to reorientate themselves away from sugar beet crops after the closure of the sugar manufacturing unit in Luduș,owned by the French group Tereos, to as an alternative develop sunflowers.
The group is now aiming to arrange the most important sunflower processing manufacturing unit in Romania.
Moise added that Romania stays supportive of discussions on meals safety happening on a bigger scale all through the EU, in addition to choices to approve a derogation from planting crops in areas left fallow for biodiversity.
“For now, there is no cause for concern. But we need to be very careful and see if we can afford to leave 4% of our farmland uncultivated for the rest if we can afford to reduce the number of fertilisers and pesticides and if the application of these measures will not adversely affect cereal production and, implicitly, ensuring the agri-food security of the EU citizens,” he warned.
For his half, Renew MEP Alin Mituța, burdened that Romania ought to push on producing extra protein crops as a result of affect of the battle on cereals used for animal feed.
“We import into the EU a very large amount of protein crops for animals, soybeans, for example… I think we need to develop in the European Union the capacity to produce these protein crops, and Romania has a great potential to do so,” Mituța mentioned.
Another instance given by the MEP was the event of alternate options to pure fuel fertilisers, one thing that’s particularly essential within the context of rising fuel costs and the necessity to cut back the EU’s reliance on fossil fuels from Russia.
Despite being one of many largest pure fuel producers within the EU, Romania has been severely affected by issues within the fertiliser sector because the largest chemical fertiliser producers in Romania have stopped manufacturing both resulting from authorized points or the excessive value of fuel.
A transfer to adapt Romania’s technique to this new actuality has been actively inspired by the European Commission.
For instance, talking throughout a current assembly, Mariusz Stefan Migas, head of unit and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for agriculture (DG AGRI), mentioned that these nationwide strategic plans might require modification to incorporate parts referring to the state of affairs in Ukraine and the implications of the battle on the EU agri-food trade.
This might embrace putting an elevated give attention to sunflower manufacturing or alternatives within the subject of renewable power manufacturing, he urged.
[Edited by Natasha Foote and Benjamin Fox]