How will the return of labor migrants to Moldova affect the fruit and vegetable sector and the domestic food market?


How will the return of labor migrants to Moldova affect the fruit and vegetable sector and the domestic food market?

04/06/2020

An increase in the population of the Republic of Moldova at the expense of migrants will contribute to an increase in demand for some premium local products

According to expert estimates, from the beginning of 2020 to this day, at least 100 thousand people – labor migrants returned to the Republic of Moldova. According to experts of agricultural associations, this fact will significantly affect the state of a number of sectors of the agricultural sector of the national economy, in particular fruit growing.

So, contrary to the hopes of producers of fruits, grapes and vegetables, as some farm managers believe, reducing the shortage of seasonal workers for manual operations on plantations may not occur for several reasons. Firstly, the “fear campaign” in the media affects the psychological state of people, now some rural residents are afraid to go to work in the fields, orchards and vineyards because of the risk of infection. Secondly, a significant number of migrants consider returning to Moldova as a forced and temporary measure, therefore, they plan to return this summer or fall, in particular, to the European Union, where the agrarians of some countries already declare a shortage of labor.

Read also: Moldovan berry growers forecast extremely difficult season of greenhouse strawberries

At the same time, an increase in the population of the Republic of Moldova at the expense of migrants (solvent and inclined towards a less ascetic nature of consumption) is likely to contribute to an increase in demand for some “premium” products of local production. First of all – fruits, berries and vegetables.

At the same time, according to observations, in particular, of vegetable growers, this year it is unlikely that there will be a significant expansion of agricultural land even for the cultivation of highly liquid and highly mechanized crops such as root crops. On the one hand, the bulk of the harvest of potatoes, carrots, onions and beets is harvested in summer and autumn, when the quarantine regime is expected to soften due to the pandemic and its impact on food markets. On the other hand, now many experts do not exclude the possibility of drought, which usually has a significant negative impact on the vegetable production of Moldova. In addition, as individual vegetable growers note, this year their plans to expand the plantations were hindered by difficulties in renting land. It is more difficult for vegetable farmers to get land than for grain producers.

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