Mihai Ciobanu, a well-known consultant in accessing European funds, especially on the submeasure dedicated to fruit growing, sustains that the Institute from Maracineni intends to ask authorities to ban the establishment of super-intensive ecological orchards on European money. The reason: there is the danger that the beneficiaries of these funds may not be unable to meet the strict conditions for implementing such a project and may be forced to give back the money. Such cases have already been reported and the beneficiaries have had no way to return the amounts received. As for the authority of those from Maracineni to issue such a claim, this is another discussion, not to mention the fact that many people in the market say they are somehow overcome by some problems ……… 

"The Institute from Maracineni supports the banning of the establishment of super-intensive ecological orchards on European money. It wants that the projects to be limited only to intensive, and some species that are not suitable for the eco system to be banned. Small beneficiaries do not even know what they are engaging for in the idea of ​​taking 20 points for funding. They will not be able to meet the conditions and will not be able to keep under control certain species and then they will have to give the money back, or it will be very difficult to give back 90%, meaning 600,000 euros. There were some who gave the money back, others are in litigation and went to bankruptcy"

He says that many applicants go on the superintensive system, not knowing that a superintensive orchard is difficult to manage without having experience in the field, or many have only a 320-hours course of young fruit grower. Not to mention that many join the OIPA or cooperatives just to get points. 

Hard with the projects on European money

On the list of the most common mistakes in the process of achievement of the projects are the lands with uncertain location, operating losses (from the balance sheet, more precisely due to the fact that subsidies are taken into account, which is not happening at present), the use of non-feasible varieties for Romania, not to mention the artificial conditions. 

Ciobanu adds that more attention should be paid to pedological studies because these are very important for the success of a project. Regarding the approved projects, after a disastrous 2015 – only 11 projects were approved on the submeasure for fruit growing (Submeasure 4.1a – Investments in fruit holdings), the situation returned to 2016. 

„In 2015, were approved projects of 7 million euro of the 68 million euro allocated, of which 3 million euro were contracted and a single payment of approximately 700,000 euro was made. In 2016, things have gone a long way. On March 7th, the August report was made public and out of 42 projects evaluated, 28 are approved and 16 are already selected for funding” said Mihai Ciobanu.