Tuesday, 8th of March, at Poiana Braşov, in the presence of a large number of farmers, was organized the 4th edition of the National Conference of Pomiculture by the Communication Center of Romanian Farmers - CCFR with the support of PRODCOM and in partnership with the companies Agricover, Bayer Cropscience, Intermag, Lantec Industries and Timac Agro Romania.
The opening speech was given to Aurel Tanase, General Manager of PRODCOM. Among the themes proposed in the first part of the debate were:
- “The pomiculture program 2016 – From agony to ecstasy”, a subject presented by consultant Mihai Ciobanu;
- “The evaluation of projects under the measure 4.1a”, discussed by Claudiu Coada, Director of Division Physical Assets – AFIR;
- “Integrated Solutions for fruit growers”, a topic debated by Ghita Pinca, Commercial Director of Agribusiness, Agricover;
- “Specialized financial solutions for fruit growers”, subject addressed by Robert Rekkers, General Manager Agricover Credit;
- “Submeasure 4.1a – Investments in fruit holdings – 2016”, theme presented by Mihail Coman, General Manager of the Institute of Research and Development for Fruit Growing Maracineni.
After lunch, in the second part of the event, were presented other topics of interest, detailed by the representatives of the partners’ companies. Thus, Sorin Petrache, Marketing Field Manager Special Cultures Bayer, presented the company’s perspectives for fruit growing, while Aurel Ghirca, Technical Manager Timac Agro Romania, talked about efficient fertilization of agricultural plantations. At the end of the event took place a discussion on “The development of the fruit sector in Romania”, which Alexandru Potor, State Secretary in MADR spoke.
The pomiculture program, from agony to ecstasy
European funds for fruit holdings will also be available this year for those Romanians who want to invest in fruit orchards or in bushes exploitation. Mihai Ciobanu, consultant with more than 15 years of experience in accessing non-reimbursable funds sector and with 1,000 projects elaborated with his team, presented the available amounts that will be, the novelties but also the pitfalls to be expected this year by the fruit growers who want to access non-repayable funding through the PNDR 2014-2020.
The consultant also analyzed the latest selection report of AFIR for submeasure 4.1a – Investments in fruit holdings, where from the 42 projects evaluated so far, 28 were practically approved, of which 16 were selected for funding and the beneficiaries have gone further into the process being able to start the work in the standard cost. For these cases, the European funds consultant has drawn the attention to the fruit growers that the procedure takes into account that the documentation has not to be backdated, meaning that only those works made after declaring the eligibility of the project will also receive funding!
“We will not have more than 70% of approved projects, that’s about 100-120 projects, but I think that we will go more up to 60%. This means that around 40-50 million euros will be committed out of the 78 available. We will have a reported amount, which should be allocated for the 2017 session. In 2016, although they promised, they did not make the allocation and almost 50 projects remained not submitted” also said Mihai Ciobanu, expert consultant within Reeve Asset Management. He underlined that a large part of the problems that emerged in the evaluation of the projects is related to the scores, yet existing some uncertainties which will have to be solved as soon as possible at the AFIR level.
Top fruit trees species in the pomiculture program
Out of the 159 projects approved in 2016, ICDP Maracineni advised 61, SCDP Constanta 38 and SCDP Bistrita 27 and as species the hazelnut occupies the first place with 392.3 ha, the walnut - the second position with 360.82 ha and, surprise, the huckleberry on the third position with 340 ha. The last position in this ranking is occupied by the peach, with only 1.9 hectares. The cherry, apple and plum, in this order, come after huckleberry. But the scoring for the first three species has been done predominantly on an ecological system, which will cause problems in completing the investment. The diseases of the hazelnut (Bacterial Burning and Leaf Falling), of the walnut (Bacteria, Anthracnose) and of the huckleberry (Anthracnosis, Stalking Cancer, Burning Spores and Pruning Cancer) will create major problems in the organic management system of orchards, which can lead to massive losses and, implicitly, to cancellation of financing contracts. These observations and considerations were brought to the attention of the fruit growers present at the National Conference of Pomiculture by the consultant Mihai Ciobanu (the most prolific on this type of projects) and Mihail Coman, director of ICDP Maracineni.