Romania has access to very important European funds that have made their presence known during an extremely difficult agricultural year marked by drought, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Daniel Constantin , said in the opening of the INDAGRA 2012 fair yesterday, according to money.ro. ‘The very good production in 2011 decreased prices a lot in Romania, but the fact that we had important European funds allowed farmers to make important investment in agriculture and not sell at extremely low prices. The value added to agriculture by such investment in the processing industry will be visible at INDAGRA’, Constantin said. He said that, in 2012, when the agriculture budget has not even reached 1 per cent of the GDP, the European funds available have represented 1.5 per cent of GDP. ‘In the area of agriculture we have over 50 per cent absorption rate. Out of a financial package of EUR 8.5, farmers have attracted from the EC over EUR 4 bn. That’s a good thing which paves the way to a financial prospect just as good in the 2014-2020 period’, the agriculture minister added. In his opinion it is very important that the agriculture budget at a European as well as national level is not affected by a possible cut of the EU budget. He also said this year there have been some important allocations from the state budget for the compensation of losses suffered by farmers because of the drought, being the first budget revision redistributing such an important amount to MADR. ‘This is what we can do for farmers this year. We hope that, beginning with 2013, we will be able to speak about such sums that will go into investment and not necessarily into the compensation of farmers’ losses’, added the MADR head. He also stressed that food security is and will continue to be an issue in the future as the global food production is required to grow by 70 per cent by 2050. The EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Dacian Ciolos, also participated. He opened the INDRAGRA 2012 fair, noting there were opportunities in the area of agricultures that could be taken by investors. Ciolos said events such as INDAGRA could better contribute to matching the supply present in Romania as well as in its neighbourhood with the demand.’INDAGRA could be a regional fair for the SE of Europe. Through pragmatism and optimism, Romania’s agricultural and agri-food potential that has been spoken about for so many years could be capitalized upon also by using this opportunity’, said the official guest Dacian Ciolos. The INDAGRA 2012 fair brings together a record number of exhibiting companies – over 400 from 22 countries (Austria, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Belgium, Great Britain, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, China, R. Moldova etc), the INDAGRA theme being completed by the other three parallel fairs hosted by the Romexpo Central Pavilion – the ALIMENTA fair dedicated to the food industry, ALL-PACK – dedicated to packaging equipment and technologies and EXPO DRINK&WINE – dedicated to the producers of equipment and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.