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March 11, 2022

Romania's food security. A crisis that can be avoided by taking preventive measures.

Azomures, in partnership with Profitul Agricol magazine, organized on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, a round table on "Food security and the implications of the war in Ukraine for Romania and Europe". The event that took place in Bucharest brought to the same table actors from Romanian agriculture, responsible for the production of food from the vegetable sector. Farmers, distributors of inputs, representatives of professional associations, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and officials from Brussels, energy experts presented views on how agriculture in Romania is affected in the short and medium term with the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.

The speakers agreed that at this moment Romania has the necessary resources to provide food, without taking into account rationalizations or other restrictions. Unfortunately, the price of food is expected to rise further. In his speech at the event, Achim Irimescu, Minister Plenipotentiary of Romania's representation in the European Union, said: "The European Commission has said that there is no danger of a shortage of food on the European market, millions of tonnes of food in the Member States. However, the war has affected stocks, as there are more than 10 million tons of grain in the Black Sea silos that cannot be put into circulation. War tends to add to the energy crisis and rising import prices, especially for fertilizers."

Sorin Moise, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, said that the effects of the market are due to the conflict in Ukraine. MADR has analyzed several scenarios and there are sufficient stocks of wheat until the next harvest, even a buffer zone, but that needs to be done on the price of energy.

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen pointed out that most farms in the European Union are family businesses, which cannot afford agricultural inputs at premium prices. At the same time, access to raw materials is needed for competitiveness. "If we don't produce food, there is no future." Romanian farmers' associations have expressed their desire both for direct measures to support farmers through a subsidy per ton of fertilizer and for irrigation projects, justifying that food is a necessity, not an option.

The event was attended by representatives of distributors of inputs for agriculture who would like Azomures to resume production immediately because farmers are in a real crisis of product, more than price. "Farmers in the Southeast have less than 50% of their fertilizer needs," warned Narcis Niță, administrator of Biz Solutions Dolj.

"According to a recent United Nations estimate, 282 million people will suffer from hunger. If we do not react now, 30% of the European Union industry will close next winter to support the heating of European homes. Romania has the capacity to secure its agriculture by supporting the fertilizer industry and the value chain it generates ", said Harri Kiiski, general manager of Azomures.