Agriculture Minister on Support for Farmers: “We Did Everything Possible”

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Despite the wave of protests, the Minister of Agriculture claims that farmers have received substantial assistance so far and that the authorities have allocated all they can to support the sector. The official did not comment directly on the current demands of farmers, but noted that the Agriculture Ministry had not received any specific requests. The minister also spoke about diesel fuel from Romania, which still cannot reach Moldova. When asked whether the request of the agrarians for an additional allocation of 400 thousand lei would be accepted, Vladimir Bolea did not answer directly. But shortly before, he hinted that the state had done its best, focusing on the farmers who had suffered significant losses. “The measures taken by the Government at the current stage to support the most vulnerable are sufficient. They may not be enough in the end, but they stem from the opportunities that the Cabinet has at this stage. And believe me, if we are talking about the available state budget, the percentage given to farmers is quite decent from our point of view,” Agriculture Minister Vladimir Bolea said. He referred to the government’s last decision, by which an additional 50 million lei was allocated. The money will be given to about 400 farmers, who were significantly affected by the 2022 drought and last year’s hailstorms. As for the 400 thousand tons of diesel fuel promised by Romania, Vladimir Bolea says that the decision is up to the neighboring country’s authorities, who are going to amend the documents soon. Last July, Bucharest announced that it would send fuel to Moldovan farmers, but for several months our authorities failed to identify a transport company and the necessary storage space. The economic operator was identified only after 3 failed tenders. But it is still unclear when the diesel will arrive in Chisinau. “We don’t know yet.  “Why has it taken so long” is a good question. No one likes it when references are made to the last 30 years in which the state has been destroyed. However, all the oil storage facilities in our country have been privatized. The state doesn’t even have two canisters to store diesel fuel, not to mention the national reserve,” said the head of the Agriculture Ministry. In addition, Vladimir Bolea announced a meeting of the Council to discuss and develop efficient solutions for the agricultural sector by the end of this week. It will include farmers and agricultural specialists. The Council will analyze the situation and liaise with producers from all districts of the country. At the end of last year, following farmers’ protests, another commission was set up to find solutions for stranded farmers, but so far it has only been collecting documents and has not submitted any proposals.