President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday, at Indagra agricultural trade fair, that Romania has a huge potential in agriculture, but he added that it needs to be capitalised upon intelligently and sustainably.
“I have all the conviction that Romania has a huge potential in agriculture, which we must capitalise on in a smart and sustainable way,” said Klaus Iohannis.
He also pointed out that Romania holds the sixth-largest agricultural area in the European Union and that it is one of the top 10 exporters of wheat and corn worldwide.
“We have everything we need to make our country a real force in the agricultural and food sector, but in order to do this, the delays have to be made up for and some shortcomings must be eliminated,” the President said.
In turn, Minister of Agriculture Petre Daea said that Romania has drawn this year 3.3 billion euros of European money from the special programmes for agriculture, underlining that Romania does not have a comfortable situation with regard to the trade balance in agri-food products and added he was displeased that “we import a lot and sometimes of questionable quality,” and exports are largely made up of unprocessed products.
Daea specified that although there are visible results, there is still much to be done in Romania’s agriculture, “with a high degree of expectation”.
“We believe that all of us who work in agriculture and food industry, from the Government to the last clerk, and together with the farmers of the country’s agriculture, regardless of the sector, must continue our programmes and prepare our country for the important stage of Romania’s presidency in 2019 [EU Council’s Presidency] and the establishment of some clear objectives for Romania within the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy,” said Petre Daea.
AgriMin Daea: 2017 – an exceptional year with all-time high agriculture figures
This year is an exceptional one for agriculture, with productions at historic, unprecendented highs and the highest amount of European funds ever attracted, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Petre Daea told Antena 3 private broadcaster on Wednesday.
“We have the largest wheat production in history, over 10 million tons, which means an average of 4,836 kg per hectare. The same goes for rapeseed, peas, barley and sunflower. Figures are at all-time highs for all these cultures, they have never been achieved in Romania ever since these crops started being grown. We are Europe’s leaders, on No. 1 at sunflower with a production of over 3.150 million tons. Let’s see the figures of the other states, to see where we stand. We are also in the top position by the European funding accessed under the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF), which means 99.04 percent,” Daea said.
Asked about the reason why he takes pride in these historic highs, given that all farming achievements were in the private sector, the minister replied that state subsidies to support the farmers has been disbursed “in time, when the crop field had required it.”
Daea contradicted opinions that this year’s record-breaking crops are similar to inflated reporting in the Ceausescu era, stressing that farmers are reluctant to fully reporting their production figures.
The Minister of Agriculture mentioned that he strictly sticks to the governing program, which “is his Bible”, a well-established program with clear goals.
“I have the governing program as a guideline and I’ll be keeping it as long as I serve as Minister of Agriculture, this is my Bible, that’s my task as Minister of Agriculture, to carry out the governing program. It is a good, well-established program with clear goals, with execution deadlines, pinpointed amounts offered by the government for agriculture. The agriculture budget for 2017 was built on programs we have pursued step by step and they yielded results,” said Petre Daea.