Romania must reduce cereal exports and use them to breed animals - Irimescu


Romania must reduce exports of cereals and use them to breed animals in order to ensure domestic meat consumption, said Achim Irimescu, the minister of agriculture at the Forum of Local Public Administration.

“Romania exports mainly raw materials, cereals and tobacco or products in the tobacco sector. It is essential that MADR had in view the increase of added value made in Romania and it reduce cereal exports as much as possible. We should use cereals to breed animals in order to ensure domestic meat consumption because we are importers of pork, beef and mutton meat. Although we have over 12 million sheep, they are breeds not very well adapted to consumers’ tastes,” Irimescu said.

Although in 2013 and 2014 Romania has a positive balance of trade with foodstuff because of a good cereal yield and a good price, in 2015 Romania became again a foodstuff importer.

“In 2015 we became again a state importing foodstuff, with imports of 5.7 billion euros and exports of 5.6 billion euros, therefore a negative balance of trade of 100 million euros,” Irimescu pointed out.

In the minister’s opinion, food production is a world challenge, when about 2 million ha are lost annually through land degradation or deforestation and climate conditions affect performance in this sector.

“If we talk about climate changes, it is important to limit carbon imprint, to promote ecological agriculture, adequate water management and to encourage renewable energy. Although agriculture is a solution to reduce gases with greenhouse effect we still have problems with pollution. Cattle issue as much gas with greenhouse effect as cumulated transports: trains, ships, planes, automobiles - 14% of emissions. The cattle sector is responsible for that but it does not mean we should give up beef. British researchers found a solution to reduce gases from cattle digestion process by 14%”, the minister said.

Last but not least, Irimescu says Romania still has problems with adequate water management, although there are many water resources.

“Unfortunately, in draughty years we are faced with bad water management, we do not have constant irrigation water for all producers. Also, ensuring infrastructure in the rural area is very important because Romania is last in modern sewerage. We have most toilets in the backyard, so the living standard is far from being what it should be,” the minister of agriculture said.

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