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Romanian farmers talk about the real problems in the region

Румънски фермери говорят за истинските проблеми в региона

According to the European Statistical Office (Eurostat), Romania occupies the 5th position among the largest producers of wheat in the EU. The country is also in the top places of the largest exporters of wheat in the EU since the beginning of the new season.

But Romanians who grow wheat say that the statistics are false and this positioning is causing them serious damage as they are the only losers. In fact, reporting these huge figures - which farmers say do not reflect reality - only causes them losses, the businesses of many are taken over by creditors because they cannot even cover their costs, and exports are not made by the producers, but by a few " international traders" - multinational companies that sell wheat for export.

"They are the same throughout the region, along with Ukraine, Bulgaria and the Republic of Moldova. The traders are the ones who set very low prices for the exported wheat and only they profit, not the Romanian, Bulgarian, Moldovan or Ukrainian producers", said the president of the National Federation "PRO AGRO" Yonel Arion.

“It has never been a joy for farmers that the country tops these charts. We are located in this export center of the Black Sea, where the competition is very high and the market is owned by the same "traders". No farmer in the region exports unless it is a multinational company that is also a "trader".

Farmers do not have export capacities, do not participate in international tenders, because they do not have the necessary quantities and market history. Today, the cereal market in Romania is no longer regulated by the state or any European structure. These "traders" are an economic superstructure that is impossible to control. They are multinational companies that have been exporting grain for more than 50 years,” Arion explains.

According to him, multinational companies are gaining ground and business. Those who default sell their businesses. Everything is taken over by creditors. In practice, there are such problems every year, and the number of Romanian producers is decreasing in this real "Russian roulette" of wheat production, while the multinational companies that provide financial assistance and "inputs" - fuels, fertilizers, herbicides, etc. - they win... both agricultural land that they take from the losers and the businesses of Romanian farmers who fail in this market that they cannot regulate.

“There was also a Romanian trader, but the others made sure to remove him from the market. We have to take into account the fact that we are in a global market and the price is set at this level, but at the same time we depend on traders who set a price 20-30 euros lower than the exchange from Chicago, London or Paris", explains Arion.

Farmers are angry at this situation where the state has not intervened in any way in recent years, saying they are affected by the lack of regulations and unfair competition they face in this market without being noticed by the Competition Council .

"Inflated" figures modeled on reports of production per hectare from the time of the communist regime no longer serve to boast of the party-state, as it was in the "social. the times", and help the creditors who take over the business of small producers.

"We have a problem, at the national level, in terms of production reporting. You cannot, as a country, report the highest production of wheat per hectare for the last 20 years, when we have massive agricultural areas affected by drought. This means that we would break every record if we had all the viable agricultural area, especially the southern part of Romania, where there was an unprecedented drought," adds Arion.

"We have more than 700,000 farmers, but only about 30,000 commercial companies are obliged to provide data to the National Statistical Institute. The rest are not obliged to give the data, so the report shows a much higher production per hectare than it actually is. We have addressed this issue, but it still works the same way. Romania always transmits inaccurate data, which harms the economic plan and the image of the country a lot", the farmers state categorically.

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