Viorel Gerciu: We should get ready for increases in agrifood prices

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry has gloomy forecasts. Minister Viorel Gherciu said the increases in agrifood products are likely to continue. According to the official, the energy resources and fertilizers form a large part of the food prices and the prices of these continue to rise, IPN reports.

The minister of agriculture and food industry said that even if the Republic of Moldova is an agrarian country, the prices of agrifood products are influenced by the war in Ukraine.

“98% of the fertilizers are imported. Also, the energy resources and even a part of the seeds are imported. This has an impact on the prices of agrifood products. The cost of storing last year products also increased. The storage and transportation costs, incluing on the couyntrty’s territory, and the salaries of employees rose. As a result of subsequent price rises, the prices of food products also grew,” Viorel Gherciu stated in the program “Rezoomat with Ileana Pîrgaru” on RliveTV.

The official assured that the country’s food security is not in danger. However, he said the increase in food prices will continue. The Republic of Moldova until now imported 85% of the fertilizers from the Russian Federation. Currently, fertilizers are brought from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

“The war in Ukraine disrupted the goods supply chains, the input supply chains and it is hard to make objective forecast, but we must be ready for new rises. The inflation forecast shows the products will continue to grow more expensive. We will yet definitely ensure the country’s food security. Yes, the harvest can be lower than expected owing to the weather conditions, but food security will be mostly ensured,” said Viorel Gherciu.

For his part, the chairman of the Association “Force of Farmers” Alexandru Slusari said the high food prices are also due to the inaction of state institutions as these do not penalize cartel agreements.

“If we blame only the imported inflation, the shrewd guys who monopolized the economy will immediately profit. Oil sellers, processors will come together and will add another 10%-15%. I agree that 60% of the inflation is based on objective factors, including energy dependence and the war in Ukraine, but the rest is the profit margin of monopolists that can profit due to the inaction of the state. The last relevant example is the price of oil. During three weeks, no one has taken measures and this cartel agreement and the unjustified rise in prices haven’t been penalized,” state Alexandru Slusari.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, food prices this April grew by 30.17% on last April.

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