The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR) has announced on Monday the launch of a partnership between Romania and the Netherlands whose goal is to raise local production of cow milk for processing to 2.5 million tonnes annually by 2020, namely 2.5 times more than last year.
“It is a project that has been under discussion for a very long time and I am glad that it has reached a certain level of development. But I hope that we will not make only a project, but also a development strategy for the milk sector in Romania,” State Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Daniel Botanoiu stated at the launch of the project.
Furthermore, the MADR representative raised the issue of grains and oil seeds trade in the Black Sea basin, which is close to the sector of animal rearing. “We have an unusual situation, with big players from Ukraine, Russia and Turkey who do not play by the rules of the game, of good agricultural practices,” Botanoiu stressed, arguing that those players are benefitting from subsidies that put Romanian companies at a disadvantage.
The government official also pointed out that Romanian meat and milk products are sold at prices below the production costs and that this situation cannot continue, on the one hand because the legislation does not allow for it, and on the other hand because companies cannot resist on the market.
Botanoiu also spoke about the need for certain European instruments and mechanisms that would provide producers with the necessary sums to promote their products and enter new markets.
The joint project between Romania and the Netherlands in the milk sector supports family-run farms as a solution for the development of the Romanian chain of milk production, processing and sale of milk. To begin with, the project will be implemented in several farms in Transylvania, which will benefit from Dutch experience and will receive support for developing their business and to obtain, at minimum costs, the best quality milk.
According to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS), in Romania the processing units collected in 2014 from farms and collection centers 995,375 tonnes of cow milk, up by 12.8pct year-on-year. On the other hand, the quantity of unprocessed milk imported dropped last year by 20.2pct, from 96,105 tonnes in 2013 to 76,723 tonnes in 2014.