The Romanian horticulture sector will have to adapt to both new climates as well as new requirements from consumers. One Romanian company, who is specialized in applying new technologies for vegetable cultivation, will now dip its toes in other segments of horticulture as well. They hope to apply their knowledge to create a better situation for growers in the entire fruit and vegetable sector of Romania.
Marcoser is a Romanian company that helps growers with technical and other innovation for cultivation, and produces several vegetables itself as well. According to Adrian Ionescu, technical manager for the company, they’ve seen noticeable change in the Romanian climate this year.
“The year 2020 has been a difficult year in terms of the climate in Romania. Global warming is becoming more and more evident also, and this is also highlighted by the annual average temperature that was exceeded by 1.2°C in 2020 compared to 2019. The lack of precipitation in the South East area of Romania caused farmers to find solutions as technical and adapted to the growing area. It is clear that drought will be one of the main obstacles and only the orientation towards drip irrigation can offset the losses.”
Due to these changes in the climate, Ionescu feels adaptation of these new technologies will help growers protect their interest and financial gain. “This spring, we also had late frosts, therefore the adaptation of technologies to protect plants against frost, must be achieved through a perfect combination between fertilization, plant protection technology and the use of anti-freeze products. In fruit growing or viticulture, we are talking about perennial plants, whose replacement cost is quite high; therefore it is the cultivation technology that will make the difference between loss and gain. Politically and financially, local and European investments in the fruit growing segment show us again that there is a rather high potential for development in this segment. The conversion programs and the European subsidies have helped to maintain investments in the fruit sector, this being more and more visible, with more and more plantations coming into fruit.”
It won’t come as a surprise that the Romanian industry was largely affected by the coronavirus, just as other European countries. “From the point of view of the sale of fruits and vegetables, the market was divided between; Wholesale sales to hypermarkets, the market and the online environment. Up until now the Horeca industry had a large contribution, this year because of the crisis generated by Covid-19 it has been severely affected. However, much of its volume has been redivided among other types of retail.” Ionescu explains.
“The only hard-hit horticultural segment was the potato, but not because of the Covid-crisis, but because of the very low price of production, combined with drought. But here we see a change in the consumer trend; until a few years ago the consumer preferred large caliber potatoes, now it is refocusing on smaller caliber potatoes. The crisps industry still needs the potato, filling in its import deficit.”
The year 2020 did cause Marcoser to shift away from just focusing on the vegetable sector. Now the company wants to expand into all other horticultural segments, says Ionescu: “After 15 years, in which Marcoser helped to grow Romanian vegetable growing, this year we’re turning our attention to the rest of the horticultural segment. We are determined to be involved with quality technical services and products to match. Global warming, as well as new European requirements, have led farmers to make investments in fertilization systems, hail nets, short-term plant protection products, the need for dedicated fertilizers and closer monitoring of pests using pheromonal traps and even the widespread use of beneficial insects.”
“All these things are not new to our company, as we have created a trend in vegetable cultivation in Romania for years. Currently we’re seen as leaders in the distribution of agricultural inputs for growing vegetables in Romania. Marcoser has managed to increase productivity in the field of vegetable cultivation through tests done in its own solariums, by adapting technologies used in other countries with a reputation in vegetable cultivation to local conditions. Now, the company wants to get involved in the rest of the horticultural segment, by developing technologies and finding optimal solutions to increase production and provide healthy fruits and vegetables. All measures and technologies used in a horticultural crop must be very well adapted, in order to obtain large and healthy crops.” Ionescu concludes.