Alexandru Slusari: State is late, while “shrewd guys” manage to do on time

The state should not impose restrictions on the participants in the process of supplying the population with food products. On the contrary, the state should ensure conditions of free competition, while the Agency for Intervention and Payments in Agriculture should take measures to ensure a balance between the interests of producers and consumers. At the same time, the “sharks” that appeared during the time of Plahotniuc and that are used to dictate the rules for the thousands of small producers should be constrained, Alexandru Slusari, executive director of the Association “Force of Farmers”, stated in a public debate staged by IPN News Agency.

The expert accused the state of not ensuring the competition rules on the market. “The state left things to the discretion of the wild market, allowing freedom of action without taking into account the fact that there were persons who monopolized a number of areas during the state capture. That’s why prices in our country are formed not based on the market mechanism and does not depend on farmers. The purchase price is dictated by two-three persons. Last autumn, most of the producers, as they didn’t have storage places, sold the sunflower for 7-8 lei/kg, while in February the price rose to 18 lei/kg already,” said Alexandru Slusari, noting the consumers lost, the farmers lost, while those who dictated the price won. “The lack of competition, of the market mechanism is our most serious problem”.

The speaker noted that in all the civilized countries, the Competition Council is the main body that regulates and ensure the functioning of the market mechanism. In Moldova, there are several companies that purchase production when it is suitable for them, store it and then propose selling prices.

The expert gave as example “Trans-Oil” Company. This controls 90% of the vegetal oil market in Moldova. The company imports raw material from Ukraine and stores this in elevators and then tells the farmers that it does not need their new harvest or buys this at half price. The market mechanism in this arrangement is absent.

The expert noted the state blocked exports, but didn’t take the next step, as all the European states do – to purchase the quantities it banned from exporting at the market price. The state should buy at least 100,000 tonnes of wheat at the market price and should sell it to bakeries at a slightly higher price than the purchase price in case of eventual rise in prices.

The public debate entitled “Facets of food crisis in the Republic of Moldova and the world” was the 252nd installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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