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First automated greenhouse growing virus-free strawberry seedlings in Moldova

Seedlings are grown on a coconut fiber substrate in a 4,000 square metre greenhouse

The Berries Group is a cooperative located in the Blindesti village of the Ungheni district in Moldova. In 2020, the cooperative organized the first production of virus-free strawberry planting material in the country. Financial and consulting support was provided by USAID’s Efficient Agriculture in Moldova (APM) project.

Seedlings (mainly Marmolada/Onebor) are grown on a coconut fiber substrate in a greenhouse of about 4,000 square metres. The greenhouse is equipped with an automated control system for temperature and humidity as well as rates of irrigation and plant nutrition. The greenhouse will produce up to 2 million units of seedlings annually. The first batch of elite biological quality planting material for greenhouse propagation was imported from Italy.

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In the first few seasons, the bulk of the planting material grown in the Berries Group greenhouse will be used to renew the plantations of the cooperative members. Subsequently, the cooperative plans to sell about a third of its seedlings on the domestic market of Moldova.

The Berries Group cooperative includes five farms growing strawberries on 40 hectares. In the past two years, members of the cooperative have collected about 500 tons of strawberries. Last year, due to heavy and prolonged rainfall during the harvesting period, the quality of the berries suffered and part of the harvest was eventually lost. This year, the quality situation is noticeably better. Most of its products were exported to Russia.

EastFruit

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