Parliamentary committee holds hearings regarding harvest of apples and grapes

The price proposed by factories to apple producers for one kilogram of apples depends on the logistical costs and the delivered quantities. This fact explains the price difference in different regions of the country. The topic was discussed today, September 18, during public parliamentary committee hearings.

The Minister of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment, Georgeta Mincu, said that, according to the information at her disposal, the producers stopped delivering apples to factories. There are only four processing companies in the country and their capacity is reduced. As for exports, apples are delivered to over 30 countries.

The president of the Association of Producers of Cans "Speranța-Con", Ștefan Golubciuc, claims that the factories have the capacity to process the entire quantity of apples that is directed there. Their processing capacity is about five thousand tons per day. According to Moldova Fruct forecast, the production of apples this year will amount to 700 thousand tons, however, actual harvest is already below the estimated level. Ștefan Golubciuc said that the purchase price of apples was 1.07 lei per kilogram at the beginning of the season. Factories gradually increased the price. Orchards are now offering apples at prices ranging from 1.80 to 2.0 lei per kilogram.

The director of the association explained that most apples are exported due to the local market's low consumption capacity. He considers that a solutions to reduced local market consumption would be to adopt legal provisions that would require 50% of the production on the shelf to be of domestic origin.

Former Minister of Agriculture and member of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Food Industry, Nicolae Ciubuc, said that current year regional harvest is lower by about 20%, compared to last year. Even so, the risk of overproduction persists. A solution to overproduction losses would be the compensation of the cost of each kilogram by the government.

The director of the Vine and Wine Office, Gheorghe Arpentin, talked about grape production. He pointed out that a persistent problem of wine export is that 70% of the wine produced from Moldovan grapes are exported in bulk, while only 30% in bottles. Wine exported in bulk reaches Belarus and Georgia, countries that keep prices quite low.

The OVV director said that last year, the price offered for quality varieties of grape was 4 - 4,5 lei, while for other varieties - 2 - 2,5 lei per kilogram. This year, quality varieties cost 3 - 4 lei, while other varieties are at last year's price level. In 2018, 730 thousand tons of grapes were collected in total, of which 445 thousand tons in private households. This year's harvest originated in private households was estimated at 460 thousand tons, however, due to drought, the real volume will be lower by about 25%. The 88 grape processing companies processed 277 thousand tons over the course of last year.

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