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Can green fresh peas become a niche product on the fresh produce market in Moldova?

At the beginning of June 2021, the first green fresh peas were sold at 70-80 MDL/ kg ($ 3.93-7.50 / kg) in the Moldovan small fruit and vegetable stores. In the stalls nearby, cucumbers, which sellers recommended to buyers as “our Spring”, were offered for the same price. On the other side of the counters, the same price tag was displayed for imported strawberries. At the beginning of the last decade of the first month of summer in the Chisinau fruit and vegetable markets, “just a cucumber” can be found at 5-8 MDL / kg ($ 0.28-4.50 / kg), both in retail and in small wholesale. “Spring” is still several lei more expensive. For green fresh peas, even a little “sour”, the retail price does not fall below 15-20 MDL / kg ($ 0.84-1.12 / kg). Beautiful, fresh and young peas in street fruit and vegetable stalls and tents can cost 30-40 MDL / kg ($ 1.68-2.25 / kg). Isn’t it a niche?

At the same time, the wholesale price for green fresh peas is formed only when they become raw materials. In Moldova, two large canning factories purchase relatively large quantities of green fresh peas for the production of canned “green peas”. Another large cannery grows it on its own fields,  and two or three factories on both banks of the Dniester grow and buy vegetable peas only for freezing. According to the representatives of the Speranța Con Association of Canned Fruit and Vegetable Producers, in 2021, compared to the last dry and extremely unsuccessful year, the cultivation of vegetable peas in the country increased by 30-50% – to about 1,000 hectares. The price for processing grade product has increased in comparison with its last year level by an average of 0.5 MDL / kg – up to 5 MDL/ kg. Due to the rains, the mechanical harvesting of this crop is even more difficult.

Some experts in the Moldovan fruit-growing industry believe that extra-early green fresh peas could really become a niche crop of “small areas” for small farmers who have land in inconveniences – for example, on steep slopes and at the foot of hills. It is probably possible to grow peas both under agril and in greenhouses – as a second or third crop.

However, if the areas cultivated with green fresh peas grow to the level of five or seven years ago – that is, up to 4-5 thousand hectares – its “niche” will quickly disappear. However, the Speranța Con Association believes that, given the current production and commercial reality, under the best conditions, the area of ​​irrigated land under vegetable peas in the country will hardly exceed 2 thousand hectares.

EastFruit

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