♦ The cost of fig cultivation plants on one hectare is 21,000 lei ♦ The price of a kilogram of figs ranges between 15 and 20 lei ♦ A mature tree produces between 50 and 100 kg of figs ♦ With an average of 70 kilograms of figs, on a very dense farm of one hectare, with 700 trees, the income exceeds 700,000 lei.
Figs, a plant originally from the Jordan Valley, are starting to ripen better and better in Romania thanks to hot summers as a result of climate change. Thus, in the current context, the world is more interested in investing money in such a specialized culture, which brings significant income, 30 times higher than the expenses for its creation.
“Demand is increasing, people are feeling the effects of global warming, and high temperatures are harming the fig crop. The world is interested in buying figs, but they start with 2, 3 or 10 figs, which are experimental crops, because they require irrigation in the first two years of life and need to be packed until it becomes wooden,” said Paul Todosa, founder of Smochini Figs Roşiori, as part of a bid by ZF Agropower, a project supported by Banca Transilvania. He began growing figs ten years ago in the town of Rochory de Vide (Teleurman county), having abandoned vegetable cultivation. Currently, he has an orchard of 300 figs, but he also grows fig seedlings in pots, which he later sells to customers interested in investing in such a crop. The cost of potted figs is 25-35 lei, depending on size and age, and for a super-dense one-hectare farm, with 700 trees, the investment is 21,000 lei.
“I have more than 600 trees, the distance between the rows is 4 meters by 3.5 meters, I have allocated about 14 square meters to one tree. The total planted area is 8,500 – 8,600 meters. I would not advise anyone to start with more than 0.5 hectares, because it requires a lot From work to choice and this aspect must be taken into account. A big problem for us is finding employment. We harvest with family and a few friends. Nobody comes to work in our area, even at HoReCa they bring in people from abroad,” said Valentin Badia, founder of Mark Livada cu figini commercial.
He is an economist by profession and planted the first figs in 2016, in Buzau province, starting with varieties from the region, which have already acclimatized in Romania. He adds that figs withstand nearly -20°C and that the last two winters in Romania have been mild, and therefore favorable to the crop. “The land in which I have fig trees is good, because the sun rises and sets on it. I exercise the sun 12 hours a day in the summer, which helps a lot in the development of the plant.”
Paul Todosa added that he regrets not starting to grow figs in a larger area, because the market demand has increased in recent years, once people become more interested in a healthier lifestyle. He stressed that “figs, for example, are very useful for digestion.” “Before, I was engaged in growing vegetables, but I had very big problems with sales, I gave up. Cucumber was 0.7 lei / kg in bulk, and with an income of 40-50 lei / day it was completely bankrupt. Comparison with figs,” Todosa said. From 0.7 lei/kg for cucumbers to 15-20 lei/kg for figs, the difference is from heaven to earth.”
In his case, he says, a mature fig tree produced an average of 70 kg of fruit. On the other hand, Valentin Badia says that the average in his culture is 50 kg of fruit per tree.
“This year’s production is high, but the quality of production is low because of the rains. We processed two tons of fruit for brandy.” Viorel Biash, founder of Smochini Sviniţa, a former miner, founded the culture in Mahdini province 12 years ago, after the mine he was working in was closed.
Bayash added that after other citizens saw that the plant was developing and bringing a good income, they also began to grow up to 50 figs. He has 300 trees, an orchard that extends over almost one hectare, and is equipped with an irrigation system.
The price of a kilogram of figs varies between 15 and 20 lei, at an average of 70 kg / fig, on a highly intensive farm of 1 hectare with 700 trees, the income exceeds 700,000 lei.
At the moment, fig growers in Romania can be counted on the fingers, said the guests of the September 12 edition of the ZF Agropower exhibition, because the culture is not supported. The largest growers of figs in the world are Morocco (63,000 hectares), Turkey (53,000 hectares) and Algeria (39,000 hectares), according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for the year 2020.
Paul Todosa, founder of Smochini Figs Roşiori: A farm of 30-50 figs that makes a good income. If you want to be a large farmer, you should have 10-20 hectares, to cooperate with supermarkets in terms of sales.
Valentin Badia, Founder of Fig Orchard: In the past year, we have had clients from all over Moldova, from Iai, Suceava, Vaslui, from South and North Montinya, from Prahova and from Arges.
Viorel Băiaş founder, Smochini Sviniţa: This year there have been continuous rains, and the fruits are of lower quality, but we use them in processing and making brandy.