Romania has to reach an area of 500,000 hectares of certified organic farming by 2021, as there are currently around 364,000 hectares and 10,000 registered beneficiaries and the relevant market has increased by some 30pct in recent years, state secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Daniel Botanoiu, told AGERPRES on Wednesday.
"At present we have 364,000 certified hectares and over 10,000 beneficiaries registered in organic farming. In 2021 we must have an area of 500,000 hectares. This Agency for Quality and Marketing of Agri-Food Products has been created, it has been approved today (Wednesday, ed. n.) in Parliament and will go to the Presidency for promulgation. All these quality products will have very clear directions, with a unitary policy, and we will finance exactly the segment that will have to be funded," said Botanoiu.
"I believe that in this segment we have to go more on processing to add value to the raw material and that is why in the future PNDR (National Programme for Rural Development, ed. n.) 2021-2027 we want to have more allocated amounts on the processing side, with a co-financing to support the subsidized interest at the banks, to create these opportunities for farmers. That is why we have created the Unirea House to take over the commodity, to store it and use it together with the big chains. We also reduced the VAT to 5pct. The organic products market rose to 30pct last year compared to 2017, and now it has reached 20 million euro," Botanoiu said.
Romania currently has 1,008 certified organic products, and besides grains, it produces oils, wines, cheese, tea, honey, soap, detergents etc.
Since March, Carrefour Romania has initiated the largest integrated support program for Romanian farmers who want to move to an organic/eco-friendly farming business model. The program - "We Grow BIO Romania " - represents a long-term commitment, open to any Romanian farmer who wants to be organically certified, through which Carrefour will provide direct support throughout the conversion process.