Arab Today, arab today exsoviet moldova feels squeeze from russian fruit embargo
Last Updated : GMT 05:20:33
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Ex-Soviet Moldova feels squeeze from Russian fruit embargo

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Ex-Soviet Moldova feels squeeze from Russian fruit embargo

A tractor works in an apple orchard
Racovat - AFP

Moldovan apple grower Constantin Furculita was dreaming of juicier profits when he pumped some $2 million into his 42-hectare orchard.
But his hopes of a windfall turned sour last summer when Russia unexpectedly slapped an embargo on fruit exports from the ex-Soviet nation in apparent retaliation for its historic shift towards the Europe Union.
"From one day to the next, we found ourselves hit by an embargo and with the harvest in the fields," Furculita told AFP.
"Up to 2014, 99 percent of my production was heading to the Russian market," said the 35-year-old farmer in the northern town of Racovat.  
When Moscow imposed the ban in the wake of Chisinau's signing of an association agreement for closer ties with the European Union in June, Furculita saw a huge chunk taken out of his returns.  
"My income barely covers my expenses, while farming didn't bring in big money anyway," he said.
Overall, Russia's move has caused an estimated $145 million of losses for Moldova, the poorest country in Europe which still relies largely on agriculture, with the apple industry facing the most bruising time.
Moscow -- which also slapped bans on a wide range of Western products last year in retaliation for sanctions over Ukraine -- has typically used import bans to flex its muscles in disputes with its neighbours.
After the introduction of the embargo on Moldovan fruit, tens of thousands of tonnes of apples rotted in the fields as small farmers had nowhere to store them.
The local currency, the Moldovan leu, has lost around 30 percent of its value since November, making it more expensive for farmers to repay bank loans, and to buy imported treatments for crop diseases.
Moldova has a fair-trade agreement with the EU that entered into force in September, in theory opening the door to a new market.
But "entering the European market is difficult and slow to do," said the president of local farmers' association, UniAgroProtect, Alexandru Slusari.
Out of its annual production of 400,000 tonnes of apples, Moldova has "barely exported 4,000 to the EU, or more precisely to Romania. That's a miniscule amount," Slusari told AFP.
In an unexpected concession, Moscow in February lifted the embargo on an "experimental basis" for 10 Moldovan fruit exporters.
Moldova's deputy agriculture minister Vlad Loghin said a dozen giant trucks carrying around 200 tonnes of apples headed to Russia.
Before the embargo, up to 200,000 tonnes of Moldovan apples went to Russia per year, with the rest sold on the local market, including to local canning factories, and to CIS countries including Kazakhstan.
- Crunch times, core issues -
In fact, Russian consumers are not entirely deprived of Moldovan fruit.
"We know perfectly well that most of what we send to Belarus and Kazakhstan in fact ends up in Russia," said Slusari, referring to ex-Soviet countries in an economic union with Russia.
But this involves greater transport costs, while prices are down 30 percent compared with before, when Moldova sent fruit to Moscow directly, without middlemen.
"Without state support, most of the orchards will die," warned Slusari.
In late March, thousands of farmers rallied across Moldova, asking state funding to the sector to double in 2015 to 60 million euros.
Furculita also feels that the state should do more for agriculture, "the only branch of the economy that could generate profits."
But the disastrous effects of the Russian embargo have shown the dire need for Moldova to diversify its markets away from Russia, and awareness of this is growing, he said.
"The Russian market is unstable, you can't count on it. Sure, in the EU, the competition is very great. But that forces you to be more professional, more competitive. This is the place to be."
In Bucovat, around 30 kilometres from the capital Chisinau, Ion Chilianu has established a farm with packaging facilities and the latest refrigerating systems.
Sorted by colour and diameter, his apples are exported to Libya, Egypt and Kazakhstan.
Chilianu said he had also looked for opportunities in EU countries, but the "European bureaucracy blocked" these initiatives.
"We, the Moldovans, have always been at a junction between different interests and have always suffered from this. It's our fate," he said with a resigned air.

 

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today exsoviet moldova feels squeeze from russian fruit embargo Arab Today, arab today exsoviet moldova feels squeeze from russian fruit embargo

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today exsoviet moldova feels squeeze from russian fruit embargo Arab Today, arab today exsoviet moldova feels squeeze from russian fruit embargo

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Youssra depended on colored foam

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
Arab Today, arab today unveils Joon - the 'millenials' airline

GMT 13:36 2017 Saturday ,23 September

unveils Joon - the 'millenials' airline
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Iran tests new medium-range missile

GMT 21:24 2017 Saturday ,23 September

Iran tests new medium-range missile
Arab Today, arab today Saudi Arabia to unblock internet calling apps

GMT 11:31 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

Saudi Arabia to unblock internet calling apps
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Ministry seeks to improve education

GMT 14:49 2017 Sunday ,17 September

Ministry seeks to improve education
Arab Today, arab today All eyes on May as she prepares

GMT 10:16 2017 Friday ,22 September

All eyes on May as she prepares
Arab Today, arab today Psychologists help Mexico deal

GMT 05:05 2017 Sunday ,24 September

Psychologists help Mexico deal
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Carmakers face billions in European

GMT 12:37 2017 Saturday ,23 September

Carmakers face billions in European
Arab Today, arab today Mercedes pumps 1 bln euros    

GMT 06:04 2017 Friday ,22 September

Mercedes pumps 1 bln euros    
Arab Today, arab today Lebleba is preoccupied in filming 'Back Street'

GMT 08:56 2017 Thursday ,21 September

Lebleba is preoccupied in filming 'Back Street'
Arab Today, arab today Big Western brands polluting oceans

GMT 20:10 2017 Saturday ,23 September

Big Western brands polluting oceans

GMT 08:59 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

Youssra prepares for launching her program

GMT 18:09 2017 Thursday ,21 September

China lifts 10-year travel ban

GMT 16:53 2017 Saturday ,02 September

Mai importance of gifts during Eid Al-Adha

GMT 12:01 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands brace

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 08:39 2017 Friday ,22 September

New Hurdles as Republicans Rush

GMT 06:49 2017 Friday ,22 September

O'Leary: Could ground more planes

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 12:46 2017 Thursday ,21 September

Google likely to buy stake in Taiwan smartphone maker HTC

GMT 11:37 2017 Saturday ,12 August

Fashion designer reveals her new collection
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday