What inspires farmers and why is their job so important? Alina Cretu explains:
Why did you want to be a farmer?
Agriculture is no longer the only vocation in many countries around the world. The number of people actively involved in producing our food is diminishing each day. That is why the responsibility of those who decided to remain in this profession is increasing. We give these farmers the responsibility to feed the world and in return we must give them the tools to do so. As an agronomist and farmer, I must understand both perspectives.
What crops do you grow?
I am growing maize, sunflower, winter wheat and other major crops that are cultivated in Romania.
What impact do pests and diseases have on your crops and livelihood?
In Romania, we must combat many pests and diseases that threaten to compromise the health of crops. Specially for maize we are facing big problems. Maize leaf weevils (Tanymecus dilaticollis) inflict significant damage on maize crops, especially in South and South-East of Romania. In most cases crop rotation and diversified, long rotations are insufficient protection methods.
How do you protect your crops?
The only solution for our crop to survive in current conditions is seed treatment. In the past we could use neonicotinoid treatments; however, this is no longer possible. Consequently, we struggle each spring to acquire special derogation to be able to protect our maize.
Why is your profession important in the challenge to feed the world?
We farmers, as part of the Romanian Maize Growers Organization, are faced with a multiplicity of restrictions regarding our use of crop protection products. I strongly believe that to achieve sustainability worldwide we should have access to all available crop protection tools, if not we will be confronted with widespread food insecurity.
Alina is a Romanian maize, sunflower and wheat farmer and Director of the Romanian Maize Growers Organization.