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Farmers in Moldova ready to protest

Фермерите в Молдова готови за протест
Farmers in Moldova are demanding the resignation of Agriculture Minister Vladimir Bolya and are threatening another protest if their demands are not met. The decisions were taken at a congress organized at the beginning of the week by the National Federation of Farmers and the Agricultural Power Association.

According to the resolution adopted at the congress, which brought together hundreds of farmers, 2023 was the most difficult year for the agricultural sector. The severe drought significantly compromised corn, sugar beet, soybean and sunflower crops. The costs of agricultural production have increased in various categories by between 200 and 400%, and interest on loans has increased nearly 3 times.

At the same time, the huge import of agricultural products from Ukraine significantly influenced the decline in domestic market prices of wheat, barley, corn, rape and sunflower, farmers explain.

They complain that they are being pressured by creditors to pay off their debts, but this is impossible, as they have sold their grain at prices below cost, and total losses are estimated at around 2 billion lei.

In this context, the farmers demand that the import of wheat, corn and sunflower be banned until March 31, 2024 and that their transit be allowed only by rail.

Farmers are also demanding a doubling of the National Agricultural Development Fund to 3 billion lei, direct payments per hectare according to the EU model, compensation of 1.5 billion lei for corn and sunflower producers in 2024 and aid for drought victims.

"If in the next seven days the government does not take real measures to fulfill our demands, we will resort to various mass actions both in the capital and across the country, including the use of agricultural machinery," the congress resolution said.

Also, the associations are demanding the resignation of the Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry, Vladimir Bolya, with the accusation that he did not intervene in time to stop the degradation of the agricultural sector.

The minister present at the event further angered the participants by saying that the authorities are looking for solutions to farmers' problems but cannot interfere in the formation of market prices and advised the farmers to change the direction of their activities.

We recall that hundreds protested this summer by bringing agricultural machinery to the center of Chisinau after their demands to the authorities as a result of the collapse of grain prices were not met. Then, the government and farmers reached a compromise, after 200 million lei of the requested 700 million lei were allocated in the form of compensation for grain and oilseed producers.

Regarding trade in neighboring Romania, at the beginning of the week the prices of grain for delivery to the port of Constanta were: bread wheat - 218 EUR/ton, feed wheat - 202 EUR/ton, corn - 185 EUR/ton, barley - 177 EUR/ ton, sunflower - $375/ton.

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