“This year Adama is celebrating 25 years in the Romanian market, with the country being the first foreign subsidiary of the then Makteshim-Agan back in 1991. Today, 40 people work for the company in Romania with half of them either working in the field with distributors or promoting products to farmers. We have a strong presence in a number of crops including corn, oilseed rape and horticulture, but as our portfolio of potato products grows, we are looking to expand our presence in the sector.
Romania produces around 3.5 million tonnes of potatoes a year, making it the seventh largest producer in the EU with roughly 200,000 hectares of potatoes grown each year. Consumption of potatoes has been increasing over the years and is now around 100 kg per person per year. Production is concentrated in two main areas – Transylvania in the middle of the country and the Moldova region in the East. It is in this second region where there is an increase in potato production and it was the host to the annual National Potato Grower day for the first time this year.
More than 300 farmers attended the day, many of them key opinion makers, representing all types of farm from smaller ones right through to some of the largest farms in the country. Visitors were able to see the latest potato seed crops and crop protection products in demonstration plots and then visit the farm’s packing plant. Adama was the main sponsor of the event and it was a good event to help us understand the needs of Romania’s potato growers better.
One issue that was important to the visitors was the development of the potato market in Romania. Most potatoes are still sold on local markets and there are too few larger packers or processors. This is changing slowly and international companies, such as PepsiCo, have already established chips processing facilities in the country. Another example is the company TCE, one of the farm hosts of the event, which invested a large amount of money for developing an “on farm” facility for processing young washed potatoes ready for cooking in the oven.
We have a small, but growing, portfolio of potato products in Romania. Perhaps the most important is the fungicide Banjo Super and there are plans to increase the number of products with more advanced ready mixes in the near future. We are also strong in other crop areas such as corn, oilseeds and vineyards. In September, we will be sponsoring a national corn day that attracts a thousand or so Romanian growers and launching Adama’s full post-em spectrum herbicide tank mix package, Nicogan Extra.”
Romania crop production
- Wheat: 7.585 million tonnes
- Corn: 11.988 million tonnes
- Oilseeds: 1.059 million tonnes
- Vineyards (Grapes): 0.991 million tonnes
- Potatoes: 3.519 million tonnes
- Figures from UN FAO STAT