Moldovan farmers have announced an indefinite protest starting June 7 if Chisinau fails to provide assistance by June 3 and fails to prohibit the import of Ukrainian grain, the press office of the association of Moldovan farmers, Asociatia Forta Fermierilor, said Wednesday.
“Asociatia Forta Fermierilor demands an urgent and very specific intervention by the state, following the example of the European Union,” the statement read.
“We very much hope that this warning will be heard and urgent measures will be taken to save the agricultural industry from collapsing. Otherwise, we announce for June 7 massive continuous protests of farmers all over the country with a possible blocking of highways and a march of agricultural equipment to Chisinau.”
The association said it has been asking for the government’s support since February but has yet to receive it. Farmers once again voiced their demands, which they expect the authorities would respond to by June 3, including the reimbursement to small and medium grain producers in the amount of about $170 per hectare, the introduction of temporary restrictions on imports of wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower from Ukraine, payment of subsidy debts for the past year, and refund of VAT for fuel.
Farmers also believe that the Moldovan port of Giurgiulesti should export only Moldovan products from July 1 to July 31. The association added that the effect of many unresolved issues leads to the destruction of small and medium farmers in the country.
The Commission has banned the sale of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seed in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia from May 2 until early June in a bid to “ease logistical bottlenecks” but allowed their circulation in other European markets.
Moldovan farmers asked the authorities to introduce a similar ban, otherwise, the country would face protests. Vladimir Bolea, the deputy prime minister and the minister of agriculture and food industry of Moldova, has said that Chisinau would assist farmers but would not ban imports from Ukraine.
Ukraine was granted a temporary duty-free trade arrangement with the EU last June. In March 2022, the European Union additionally launched green corridors to facilitate the transit of Ukrainian grain to the world market amid Russia’s special military operation. However, the cheap grain from Ukraine ended up flooding EU markets instead, prompting outrage among local farmers.