On the occasion of the Romanian Government’s (GOR) launch of a one billion euro Rehabilitation of the Primary Irrigation Infrastructure program, the Embassies of the United States and the State of Israel joined the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in a seminar concerning “Irrigation Rehabilitation and Agribusiness Opportunities in Romania”. “This undertaking recognizes that improved irrigation infrastructure will improve the lives of millions of Romanians working in Romania’s agricultural sector,” a press release of the U.S. Embassy informs.
The seminar informed US and Israeli irrigation companies about the business opportunities in Romania under the reabilitation of the primary and secondary irrigation infrastructure projects. Under this program, Romanian Government allocated EUR 1 billion in the Agriculture Ministry’s 2017-2020 budget for rehabilitation of main supply pumping stations, lift & re-pumping stations, water discharge pipes, water conveyance canals, water distribution canals and hydro-technic constructions for a large surface of circa 5 million acres.
Moreover, the companies had the opportunity to hear about different projects and cooperation possibilities directly from the representatives of the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture. During the seminar, the companies from US and Israel presented their cutting edge technologies that could assist the Romanian authorities in their effort to rehabilitate this important sector.
“Implementing the National Irrigation Programme will ensure new jobs and will be a source of sustainable development”, Agriculture Minister Petre Daea said on Thursday, while the U.S. Ambassador in Bucharest Hans Klemm (photo) highlighted that the agriculture sector is the biggest employer of Romania.
The two participated together with Ambassador of the State of Israel Tamar Samash and experts in the area in the seminar on “The rehabilitation of irrigation systems and businesses in agriculture, in Romania and the Republic of Moldova,” which took place in Bucharest.
“Investment in agriculture and related areas are increasingly growing. We have as main advantages the natural resources unique in Europe,” Daea said, according to Agerpres.
The agriculture minister spoke of the Government’s plans in this area. “Romania’s Government’s zero priority becomes increasing the agricultural productivity through investments in agriculture, irrigation systems, storehouses, machineries and equipment, accessing and opening new markets, so that the Romanian agri-food product and the unique taste of our foods satisfy as many consumers as possible,” he said.
Daea mentioned that Parliament has recently adopted a law under which the National Agency of Land Development will provide free water to all beneficiaries.
Moreover, the minister underscored that the national programme of rehabilitating the main irrigation infrastructure of Romania has the goal of “adapting agriculture to climate changes and reducing their impact on agricultural production.”
He pointed out that the National Programme of Irrigations provides a total investment worth 1.015 billion euro for the rehabilitation of the main irrigation infrastructure.
“These funds will be entirely ensured from the state budget,” he said. Within the programme there will be rehabilitated items of 86 irrigation facilities covering an about 2 million hectare area, out of which 110 basic pumping stations, 137 re-pumping stations on 1997 km adduction channels, 2,885 km distribution channels.
According to the minister, the programme implementing will ensure new jobs and “will be a constant source of sustainable development.”
In his turn, the US Ambassador in Bucharest spoke of his perception on this area. “The agriculture sector is the biggest employer of Romania, he said, adding that Romania and its international partners can collaborate to improve this sector. We want to provide a better life for millions of Romanians”, Hans Klemm said.
He talked about his visits in the country, where he also met agriculture entrepreneurs.
“Successful agriculture is possible in Romania. There are also constraints which I found out about from the discussions with Romanian farmers. I include here the difficulty in accessing funding or modern management, the access to equipment. A factor is frequently mentioned (…) water, namely the lack of proper irrigation systems”, the ambassador pointed out.
Israel’s ambassador in Bucharest Tamar Samash spoke of the example of her country in this area.
“Israel isn’t only a world leader in respect to water recycling and its use in agriculture, it has also developed new technologies in respect to water desalination (…) 80 percent of municipal waste water is recycled in agriculture in Israel”, she said.
Tamar Samash thus highlighted that any state could follow Israel’s example.
“If a small country as Israel, without resources, in a difficult region, can be successful, any country can reach this success. We are confident that our common vision and values will guide our efforts to a cooperation in a new area”, she also said.