Eco-farming, yet another chance for Romanian farmers

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With rising demand for specific products, eco-farming represents yet another chance for Romanian farmers who plan entering other EU markets, is the conclusion of the seminar "Ecological agriculture – present and development perspectives," held in Tulcea on May 16 – 17.
 
"The promotion of ecological products, getting producers aware of the benefits of associative over individual farming so as to allow the increase of cultivated surfaces, render production efficient, the possibility to establish processing units for ecological raw materials and access to new outlet markets, could turn Romania into an important player on the European market of ecological products," reads a release of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR).
 
The participants in the seminar discussed subjects related to the current stage and perspectives of local ecological agriculture, the new EC Regulation No. 834/2007 on Ecological Agriculture, the control system in the eco-farming sector, mechanisms to provide support to agriculture under the National Program for Rural Development.
 
Not in the last place, the experts presented the management in ecological agriculture, the involvement of the National Agency for Agriculture Counseling in the promotion of eco-farming, the importance of practicing eco-farming in associations for the promotion of the interests of the entities in the trade.
 
The "system for the notification and registration of eco-farming operators" was also presented at the seminar, a system that will centralize nationwide relevant data by categories, easing access to information and mutual knowledge, and paving the way for eco-farming producers/processors towards the establishment of associations.
 
Romania exported the previous year 80,000 tons of ecological products, worth 65 million euros.
 
The main export-bound products were cereals, oil and protein seeds, wood fruit, mushrooms, dairy products, honey and derivatives of honey, and sunflower oil.
 
Romanian ecological products were marketed in EU states, mainly in Germany, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, the Netherlands and France.
 
According to data supplied by MADR, total eco-farming production stood at some 200,000 tons, up 13 pct against 2000. Ecological cultures in Romania cover 180,000 hectares, 11 times more than in 2000 and up 1.3 pct against 2006.
 
A number of 3,835 ecological agriculture operators were registered in 2007 with MADR, as to 3,409 in 2006. The number of processors in the trade increased in 2007 to 48. There are currently over 70 producers organizations in all sectors of ecological agriculture.
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