In 2019, the Moldovan cooperative CI Nucces (Cupercheni village, Orhei district) established an organic Chandler walnut orchard on about 100 hectares and It will give its first harvest this year.
The project is noteworthy from many points of view. First, it is being implemented by a classic cooperative created by six co-founders who entered agribusiness with approximately equal land shares. Within the framework of the cooperative, the same agricultural technologies are used at all agricultural plots – for growing products of the same variety and uniform quality, a common investment is made in the development of production infrastructure. In the future, marketing will be common, as well. Earlier in the nut industry of Moldova, production and marketing cooperation was used in almond and hazelnut growing. In the walnut sector, individualism prevailed: there were either large enterprises of a closed production and commercial cycle, or small farms largely dependent on processors and traders.
Secondly, from the very beginning of its work, the cooperative CI Nucces used the consulting support of a professional organization – the Federation of Agricultural Producers of Moldova FARM. Its experts assisted the co-founders of the cooperative in finding land plots suitable for organic agricultural production, choosing agricultural technologies, drafting business plans and searching for preferential financing.
Thirdly, the choice of walnut variety plays a special role in the concept of the project. On the one hand, “Chandler” is the standard of quality and the most preferred variety in the global walnut market. On the other hand, it is demanding in terms of agricultural technologies. In particular, its productivity depends on fertilization and irrigation regime. With the assistance of FARM, the CI Nucces cooperative received grant support from the IFAD program for the construction of a main pipeline (from the Dniester River) and a storage reservoir. In the near future, the cooperative will receive financing through the “Livada Moldovei” project in order to equip the orchard with a drip irrigation system.
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