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Romanian figs have hit supermarket shelves

Romania is a country of paradoxes. It imports apples and grapes from hot countries, but it has also started selling figs and kiwis grown in Romania, as Romanian producers have managed to acclimatise more varieties of exotic fruits and vegetables.

In fact, the first Romanian figs have already hit the shelves of the country's hypermarkets and enjoy a fantastic success. They are tastier than those imported, according to the producers, and prices are not too high, about 19 lei/kilo (4.13 Euro). They are also 100% natural, as fig trees are among the few fruit trees that don't need any phytosanitary treatments.

"We are at the beginning of the road. It is only the second year; the first in which the figs have entered the market. We cultivated them on ​​800 square metres and we managed to have a production of about 120 kilograms. Half of the volume was sold to a hypermarket we collaborate with. I said let's see how it works and it was really a success. In a few hours they were sold out and they asked us to continue," explains Andrei Mălăescu, owner of a fig farm in Păuleşti, Prahova county.

Romania has also started producing other exotic fruits, such as citrus fruits or even kiwis. The Twilight Garden, from Zalau, Salaj County, sells kiwis in 3-litre containers at the price of 35 lei (7.6 Euro). "It's a kind of oval fruit, about 3 cm long and 2.5 cm in diameter. It is ripe in early October, has a soft edible skin and is very tasty. It begins to yield fruit 3-4 years after the planting and resists frosts of up to -25 degrees Celsius.

For their part, Cristina and Mădălin Ilie, two young farmers in Arges County, are specialised in the cultivation of exotic potatoes and their business is expanding from year to year. They bought the seed two years ago from a producer who imported it from Peru. They bought only 10 kilograms as a test, and in the autumn of the same year they had a production of over 300 kilograms. Last year, the Arges-based growers harvested 7 tonnes in the approximately 5,000 square metres planted, and the plan is to continue expanding, as demand is high and prices remain good. One kilo of purple potatoes for consumption costs 7 lei (about 1.52 Euro), while one of the seed can reach 20 lei (4.35 Euro).


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