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Graziano da Silva hears success story of Moldovan farmer

New greenhouses boost seedling and fresh vegetable production

FAO Director-General with Moldovan farmer Dumitru Caraman and his family.

7 April 2014, Braviceni, Moldova – Moldovan farmer Dumitru Caraman gave Director-General José Grazianoda Silva an insight into how he grew a successful agricultural business as the FAO chief visited Braviceni village, Orhei, in the centre of the country.

Dumitru started producing vegetable seedlings in just a few square meters about 10 years ago. Year by year, he has built new greenhouses and expanded to 3 000 square meters in 2013. He now manages around 12 greenhouses of between 100 and 500 square meters, producing seedlings and fresh vegetables. The construction of the last two and largest greenhouses was completed in November 2013 thanks to financial support from Polish Aid.

Dumitru has registered a constant growth of agricultural output during the last couple of years. In 2013, he produced more than 30 tonnes of vegetables and around 30 000 seedlings. A further increase of agricultural output is expected for 2014 due to the two already functional new greenhouses.

Dumitru treats his greenhouse soil with manure from a former animal breeding farm. Chemical pesticides are never applied.

In line with Dumitru’s increasing agricultural output, his overall sales have followed a similar upward trend. In 2012 Dumitru’s sales were worth around 400 000 MD Lei ($35 000), which in 2014 rose to more than 500 000 MD Lei. Thanks to the new greenhouses, his sales for 2014 are projected to reach 1 million MD Lei.

Seedling and fresh vegetable production in greenhouses is a labour-intensive activity requiring a substantial workforce. Thus, Dumitru provides employment and incomes to between 6 and 12 local workers from February to November every year, most of them women.   

Dumitru and his wife Ecaterina also feed their own large family of five daughters, whose ages range from the eldest, at 23, to two-year-old twin babies. All the girls are being sent to school.

Graziano da Silva was in Moldova to sign a host country agreement, under which FAO will establish a permanent representation in Chisinau.