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PM Ciuca: Access to internal and external market of Romanian agri-food products must be Government strategic objective

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Access to the internal and external market of Romanian agri-food products must be a strategic objective of the government program, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca declared on Wednesday, stressing the need to develop a national strategy for agriculture and the food industry sector, according to Agerpres.

The Head of the Executive had an online intervention at the Romanian Agri Trade Summit.

„Thank you for the opportunity to address you in this meeting intended for farmers, traders, processors and distributors in the international agribusiness sector. (…) I have repeatedly talked with Mr. minister (…) about the concerns that we have, so as to ensure the most efficient development of Romanian agriculture, especially finding solutions to be able to process more in Romania and add greater value to agricultural products. (…) I support the approach to simultaneously increase access to the internal and external markets of Romanian agri-food products. (…) This must be a strategic objective of the government program. In fact, this is how we approach it. From my perspective, I see this whole matter as requiring an approach that will materialize in a strategy for agriculture and the food industry sector at the national level,” Ciuca said.

He added that Romania has a major logistical advantage, which must be maximized, something that will allow a more applied export orientation towards other areas, such as North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

„I have recently visited Egypt and there I had the opportunity to discuss the role that Romania plays in providing agricultural and food products for the population of Egypt, which gives me confidence that we can make bilateral commercial relations even more fruitful with all the other countries that see Romania as a potential business partner in this sector,” stated the Prime Minister.

He highlighted the importance of continuing public investments for the development of infrastructure in agriculture and industry.

„We emphasized what the irrigation infrastructure, storage and processing infrastructure mean for both small producers, small farmers, and large ones, and this constitutes a priority direction for Romania. (…) These types of investments are of critical importance and strategic role in the medium and long term for the development and resilience of national food chains, taking into account the consequences of the war in Ukraine and representing a concern not only for this moment, but for what will happen in the future and we must keep this aspect in mind. (…) We must also take into account the natural effects, which last year and two years ago, I mean the drought, as well as the energy crisis we faced, put on the Government’s table a series of challenges for which it was necessary to develop a series of programs in order to support the agricultural sector and Romanian farmers,” Nicolae Ciuca explained.

He mentioned that from the discussions he had with the farmers, he clearly understood that a first step that can be taken at the government level is to provide the main irrigation infrastructure so that they can develop their own capabilities for secondary infrastructure.

„Basically, for the year 2023, we thought of allocating an amount of 331 million RON, maybe in this way we can reach and, why not, exceed 2 million hectares of irrigated lands,” Ciuca added.

The Prime Minister also mentioned the government support programs ‘Three times the subsidy’, Rural Invest and Agro IMM Invest, intended, among other things, to ensure working capital for Romanian farmers.

He also recalled that for processors, in 2022, micro-grants were awarded to agri-food entities in the amount of 50 million euros, non-reimbursable funds and grants for working capital of 250 million euros through non-reimbursable external funds.

„We will continue to do this. (…) We will find the solutions, so that we can consolidate the Romanian capital of those who work particularly in the agricultural field. (…) I hope that in the future, based on this dialogue, we are able to find solutions and support all agricultural workers. (…) Our activity, yours, the farmers’, is on an upward trend and it must carry on. (…) Romanian farmers and agribusiness operators are perceived as an extremely important factor in the medium and long-term development of Romania. The state’s attention is clearly directed towards agriculture and the food industry, as areas that guarantee national food security, with an important role in what the profiling of our country within the European Union and, I would emphasize, at the regional and global level, means,” Prime Minister Ciuca said.

Agerpres

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