Romulus Oprea, president of the National Potato Federation of Romania (FNCR), says that the vegetable in question is on the verge of disappearing and that, at national level, the production has fallen below 40% of the actual demand.
"We need viable agricultural policies, which use real data, for the potato industry to become truly efficient," said Romulus Oprea.
Aurel Tanase, President of OIPA Vegetables-Fruits, argues that since December of last year, the problems that producers are facing have been outlined to the Ministry of Agriculture and that no response has been received so far.
In the absence of concrete aid measures, the potato sector will be dealing with problems in the medium and long term. Moreover, Tanase also called for an end to unfair competition and imports. He also called, as a matter of urgency, for the Ministry of Agriculture to mediate a working meeting with the big retail chains, so as to avoid disappearing from the market.
For his part, Sorin Chiru, director general of the National Institute for Research and Development for Potato and Sugar Beet (INCDCSZ), from Brașov, confirmed the need for research funding in order to obtain new, more competitive potato varieties. At the same time, the director of INCDCSZ proposed a more careful and correct monitoring of the areas cultivated with potatoes, so as to ensure a realistic development plan for the future National Strategic Plan 2021 - 2027.
According to the data of the Agency for Payment and Intervention in Agriculture (APIA), in the last six years, the area cultivated with potatoes in Romania has halved, going from 54,000 hectares in 2013 to 27,000 hectares in 2019.