Seven plum growers from the Lot et Garonne region willing to discover the Moldavian sector
INVENIO and INTERBIO Nouvelle Aquitaine requested INTERCO Nouvelle Aquitaine to organise a mission to Moldova with the aim of discovering the Moldavian plum sector, particularly in organic farming, its production methods and pest control, and to meet and exchange ideas with various actors of the sector.
This approach is part of the EEIG (Economic and environmental interest groups ) the Ente plum programme in organic agriculture to study the biological control of pests in another plum-producing country.
Through the programme set up by INTERCO, the delegation had an overview of the entire Moldovan plum and prune sector, from orchards to shops, via research. It also enabled them to take stock of the Moldovan organic sector and to exchange views on organic and conventional farming practices.
This discovery mission took place from 02 to 08 November 2019.
The first day of the programme was an opportunity to percieve an initial overview of the Moldavian economic and agricultural context, through exchanges with the France-Moldova Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the National University of Agriculture and a certification body – CERES GmbH.
The second day was oriented towards field visits in the North-Eastern area of the country, to discover the orchards of AMG Kernel, an exporting company of 6500ha, including 800ha of organic nuts and 15ha of plums. The second visit was to Micu&Co SRL organic farm of 418ha, including 10ha of plums and 26ha of nuts. That day was an opportunity to discuss (in detail) the cultivation techniques used and also to discover two companies with different profiles.
The third day was oriented towards meeting para-agricultural actors in order to have another look at Moldavian agriculture in general and the plum and organic sectors in particular. The participants met with the representants of the Research Institute, international agricultural development organisations, agricultural equipment and input companies and producer associations. We also went to discover the Chisinau market in order to get an idea of the market prices and the products sold.
Finally, the mission ended with a visit to an orchard in conversion with discussions on cultivation techniques, and a visit to a prune processing plant working on export. (that exports).
Overall, the participants had positive key and collaborations will continue.
The delegation consisted of seven organic plum producers from the Lot et Garonne region, accompanied by a coordinator from INTERBIO N-A, the head officer of fruit experimentation from INVENIO, an INTERCO N-A project manager and an external person responsible for leading a group discussion. The producers are part of EEIG Ente’s prune in organic agriculture.
Concerning the production of prunes, we realised that there is no specific sector in Moldova.
The plum sector is oriented towards fresh plums, mainly the Stanley variety. The transformation into prunes only takes place with the surpluses of this fresh plum production. Therefore they do not use a specific variety of prune selected, as is the case with the Agen’s plum and the Ente’s prune varieties.
The word “prune” does not exist in Romanian. The same word is used for plum and prune.
The prune is however present in their culinary tradition mostly in desserts: prunes filled with walnuts, possibly coated with chocolate.