The Republic of Moldova produces only 4 percent of its vegetables in greenhouses, although this sector could become a strategic one for Moldova, according to experts from the Federation of Agricultural Producers. The situation in this area and the prospects for greenhouse vegetable production were discussed at a National Conference, organized with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Only 13,000 tons of vegetables were produced in greenhouses in the Republic of Moldova in 2017, which is very little, although fruit cultivation has been booming in recent years. Thus, the store shelves in Moldova, a country that is traditionally an agricultural producer, have been invaded by imported vegetables from Turkey, where solid investments are made in the growth of vegetables in greenhouses, says Vasile Pojoga, of the Moldovan Federation of Agricultural Producers.
"We are unable to cover our production costs, which are great for us, and we cannot compete against the vegetables we are currently importing from other countries, especially those from Turkey, the country from which we actually import most of the vegetables. For example, at present, the supply of local vegetables on our market is virtually non-existing, and those that are grown at a higher cost are affected by the Turkish supply."
In order to be competitive, producers in the Republic of Moldova should not be afraid to invest in the development of vegetable-growing in protected areas, as this could provide them with great benefits, says economist Andrei Ermac, the representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of Italy.
"The Republic of Moldova has some wonderful prospects for growing vegetables in protected areas, including greenhouses, etc. for the domestic market, as well as for export. I believe that the interest in this sector will grow steadily, as vegetables, fruits and berries grown in greenhouses can bring a much higher income per hectare. There are two important causes that prevent the sector's development: the lack of knowledge on the part of vegetable growers, and the fear of those same growers to make big investments."
According to the FAO specialists, several of Moldova's neighboring countries are vegetable importers and could constitute future markets for local vegetable growers, including Russia, Bulgaria, Romania and others.