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AFP: Ecological agriculture in Romania, blocked by a ministry who has no idea how to manage EU funds

de A.C.
Joi, 10 septembrie 2009, 10:19 English | Regional Europe

Despite the crisis and the absence of European subsidies, Romanian ecological farmers believe in their future. In an article about Romania's situation, AFP analyzes the situation Romanians wishing to produce bio products are obliged to face.

The article starts with the story of Romanian agricultural engineer Aurel Petrus, aged 49, one of the pioneers of Romania's biological agriculture. Petrus started his activity in 2000 and now has under supervision some 1,300 acres of corn, grain, sunflower, soy etc.
His business strives, according to the article with a business worth 500,000 euro.

Petrus exports to Germany and Austria because Romania lacks certified production machines. Petrus rents the terrain from about 500 people, whom he pays with cash or harvest. At his turn, he needs about 18 workers and plenty of temporary workers.

In 2009, some 240,000 acres should be destined to biological harvests in Romania, according to Agriculture ministry. Over 4,000 farmers in 2008 produced 261,000 tons of bio products. In Poland, bio harvests increased by 60% up to 470,000 acres. The increase was a direct consequence of EU subsidies which are very high for this sector.

However, their Romanian counterparts do not benefit from this aid because their ministry was unable to establish a mechanism for the money attribution that would comply with EU standards, AFP reads.

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