Until recently, Romania imported soy and soy products, especially from Brazil, Argentina and the US, countries with a rich palette of genetically modified varieties.
Romanian farmers have harvested this fall 221,000 tons of soybeans, up 47 percent from last year, which is the largest production in the last nine years, according to specialists, zf.ro informs. The result came after areas planted with soybeans increased by almost a third, and rainy summer also helped to increase productivity. The production of conventional soybeans (non-GM) makes the first steps to enter the business plans of Romanian farmers after eight years since the production of genetically modified soybean was banned in Romania.
“It’s a great production potential. In Danube Region the production increased by 19 percent. The European market has a potential for a production of 5,000,000 tons annually. The second potential is the one for processing, “said Ursula Bittner, manager of Danube Soya Association, a regional organization that promotes non-GM soybean production.
The Romanian soybean market is a business of almost EUR 40 million per year for local farmers, but the harvest is less than 10 percent of potential today.
The European Union produces only about 1.5 million tons of soybeans annually. Farmers prefer the oilseeds rapeseed and sunflower seed.