Ceapa de Dărăști – Risky Farmer Ion Olteanu

Angelica Left

Ceapa de Dărăști – A venture by the farmer Ion Constantin Olteanu who set out to revive the traditions of this local culture. Having succeeded in bringing consumers’ attention to Dărăști garlic, the founder of Agromad Crops is now trying to change the consumers’ taste in terms of onions as well. Instead of the importer, Ion Olteanu wants to convince as many Romanians as possible to consume local onions.

A famous grower in Romania, member of the Forța Fermierilor Association, Ion Konstantin Ultiano, director and founder of Agromad Crops, is the one who is trying to revive the Romanian onion sector, as he did with garlic from Dărăști, Ilfov County.

Farmer Yunoi Ultiano with his son in the field planted with onions in Dorti, Ilfov Province

The onion variety Dărăști, popular a few decades ago, is no longer found in the region

Also in my course, the farmer planted 10 hectares of onions this year, but he did not find Roman varieties even among the locals, so he planted varieties from abroad in Roman soil and hoped that the next crop of Roman onions, from Băzuu, as mentioned for Agrointelligence – AGROINTEL.RO.

“This year we have 10 hectares, which is the first year we grow onions. Basically, we have 10 hectares planted in the Dorti region, which is famous for onions and garlic, and onions have been planted there for 100 years. Young people are in a mood to be able to practice cultivation. This is how garlic began to grow. On the other hand, I did not find the local variety, and I don’t think there was a variety that was even called – Dărăști onion, in the time of Nicolae Ceaușescu. People don’t have Dărăști onions anymore and we put Foreign varieties from Italy and France. I will look for Mr. Vînătoru, to get the Buzău variety, the famous Buzău onion for the next crop. This year we had two types of onions. Four hectares planted in the fall, we harvested it and part of it in the spring we must harvest in about 10 days. We hope to make about 50 tons per hectare, which is good for the first year, especially since we did not fertilize it. For the piece that was already harvested, we got less than 25 tons,” said Ion Konstantin Ultiano.

Onions from the farm of Ionu Olteanu, grown in Dărăști

Onions grown in Dărăști are sold from the farm gate to merchants for 1.5 lei, but in the market it will be 4.5 lei.

The hectares planted with onions in Dărăști represent a type of experimental soil. The farmer didn’t know exactly what kind of onions would grow in the area, so he tried several varieties to see which ones adapt best to the climate and soil. First of all, from the farm gate the price of onions will be 1.5 lei, but in the markets it will definitely reach 4.5 lei.

“I put 4-5 varieties, to see how they behave, more famous ones. I don’t have a market. In the market, onions are sold for 4.5 lei, and we can’t even sell 1 kilogram for 2 lei. I think we will sell it for 1.5 lei. We have storage spaces, but Not cold. We will sell it for 1.5 lei at the dealers. They will sell it at 2.5 lei in bulk and reach 4.5 lei in the market, so the price is tripled, ”says Ion Konstantin Ultiano.

Onion imports have hurt the prices of Romanian producers

Imports arriving in Romania from various EU countries and beyond managed to spoil the market. Foreign farmers produce lower prices because they have higher subsidies, and for some of them, the business is a tradition for more than 100 years, passed on from generation to generation, so they have a better start, says agri-entrepreneur, Ion Konstantin Ultiano.

“There is also a very strange and shameful phenomenon! There are many Romanians, whom I cannot even call the Romanians, who pay for the first 2-3-4 trucks of onions, and after that they don’t pay for the next three or four, so they practically steal. And after That they sell as much as they want, because it’s free. That’s one of the variables, and the other is that foreign onion producers are state subsidized, and they’ve carried on traditions, passing the business down from generation to generation. For them, being capitalists for 100 years and for us, their business has evolved. Already capitalized. The director and founder of Agromad Crops said that our interest rates are at 8-9%, working at 0.5%.”

Land planted with onions in Darăști, Ilfov . County

The solution to save the Romanian onion sector: a consortium of producers to sell directly to consumers

Although he always comes up with a new blow, with solutions and ideas, armed with all the necessary information, this time the expectations are not very high, said farmer Ion Konstantin Olteanu. Agrointelligence – AGROINTEL.RO.

“I don’t have any expectations, I’m actually not very enthusiastic. It’s a market dominated by imports for various reasons, and I listed it, either it’s more competitive than us, or it’s controlled by certain people, as I said, who pay only a part of the goods…or maybe foreigners Better organized.The truth is they are hard to deal with, you struggle with a third of the price and you still can’t deal with it.Maybe it would be big business if we, all of us who produce, were to sell the big roman wholesale and sell it there, and use it as a kind of market, maybe that It’s hard because we can’t, we don’t understand each other! We and the end consumer will win too, but how can you not combine two Romanians…”, added the farmer.

Onions are very hydrophilic – without watering it can affect production

This year’s drought also affected onion production. Unlike garlic, onions need more water, and watering saves the day.

“An onion without water is an obvious failure, the culture is very fond of water! In Dărăști we have irrigation, and we are on favorable land. First of all, it is located between the water, between Argeș and Sabar, which is why people chose this place in the past, not by chance. Second, it is sandy land, the fertility is formed from silt and sand helps in easy onion formation.In general, vegetables, especially bulbous crops, are grown in sandy land and in river meadows.For example, we had to learn that onions should be watered. The staff planted it and left it without watering, about 3 hectares, autumn onions. Until I arrived and told them that it had to be watered until it sprouted, it did not go well!”, explained the well-known farmer.

Harvesting onions from the farm of Ionu Olteanu

Special equipment for growing onions

ION Konstantin Ultiano added, Investing in equipment for onion cultivation should not be neglected.

“We’ve had very large investments in equipment, seeds, an expensive harvester, which is a technology separate from garlic. You share tractors and storage space. In order to achieve success, we must unite or, encouraged by 30 years of funding, we can do our own projects.” The Romanian state can support long-term financing and will also win because we have potential. Romania has 30% of what it can do, we can go up!” said the famous peasant.

Farmer Yunoi Ultiano with his son, near the land planted with onions, from Dorti

Future plans include finding new sales prospects and planting Romanian onion varieties

Next year’s plans include finding a suitable market, planting some Roman varieties, and then expanding the area of ​​land planted with onions.

“I am trying to invent different types of Romanian onions next year, but we will also take it in the opposite direction, to ensure that we sell because it is fundamental to have sales. It is true that Romanian merchandise has an ugly commercial side, but Romanian merchandise is clearly better quality, but the supermarkets track its business,” concluded Ion Konstantin Ultiano, Director and Founder of Agromad Crops for Agrointelligence – AGROINTEL.RO.

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