We’ve visited the Necula family on a warm autumn morning. This colourful season could fill your lungs with its fresh perfume. Now, all the trips to the Moldovan villages are more enjoyable, as every landscape is eye-catching and every leaf falls poetically.
After an hour spent in the car, drinking a cold tea bought before in a shop from Chișinău, we headed to the outskirts of Dolna village, Strășeni district. We planned on visiting Vasile and Valentina Necula, beneficiaries of the Small Projects Fund (SPF), implemented by the Solidarity Fund PL in Moldova. The project, titled “Creating the necessary conditions for fruit processing in the LAG microregion ‘Plaiul Codrilor’”, has gained a partial financial contribution from SPF to build a second oven for dehydrating fruits.
“We have decided to build such massive ovens about three years ago“, Vasile tells us, mentioning about his childhood rituals of drying plums in so-called loznitsa (AN – a Romanian regionalism for a rod trellis, used for drying fruits, certain dairy products etc). “I’m truly proud of my doings. It’s like a dream came true – the one of working with fruits. I’ve been imagining myself taking care of my own orchards, and now, at this point, they’re of 27 ha“, he tells us, when wandering among plum trees.
If you saw those massive ovens, you would be amazed by these detailed constructions. “We live in an era with powerful technology. We’re planning on opening partnership contracts. We also want to develop a cooking oven that should be connected to a methane furnace“. 2018 was a very productive year for the Necula family – they have dried about 45 tons of plums, picked from their own orchards. They plan to offer fruit-dehydration services to other interested people.
The orchard was planted back in 2005, but it has grown during the years. Now, it hosts the growing process of three types of plums. “The waiting was the hardest part – the trees were growing along with our investments. But the first harvest brought us so much happiness and content, that we understood that everything was worth the wait. And we were proud of our work“. Now, the Necula family is working on enhancing the dripping irrigation system, so each tree gets the necessary amount of water. Thus, the plums are of a high quality, which means that the sales will also grow. But only 3 ha of trees are fully irrigated. “I don’t regret a moment spent on the orchard! Even if my family and I are working constantly, I love what we’re doing“, says Vasile.
By the way, the dried plums are for sale. “Many people are interested in buying them. We are preparing the necessary quality certification. We’re planning on a double production for 2019, which means more work and more workers. That’s why we plan on creating new job opportunities, as well, so we attract more people in our Dolna village. Everyone will be have good salaries in their wallets and dried plums on their tables“, says Vasile.
The Necula family has a small partnership with a firm, that will deliver a few tons of plums in Ukraine, but Vasile also hopes for building partnerships with Poland and Italy. “It might seem our business is not that successful, but we have settled a good working system for dehydrating fruits“, mentioned Vasile.
Vasile Necula advises everyone to contribute to the local development and small businesses in rural areas by participating in projects, through which they will obtain partial financial support. “We have to look further. There are a lot of projects, where we will invest our own money, but we’ll also gain other financial support, so everyone wins. People living in villages see pluses everywhere, so with small steps, we develop our business and create new jobs. Agriculture is not the easiest domain to work in, but with common efforts come even greater results“, emphasizes Vasile.
This article is from “Success Stories” series, regarding the LEADER rural edition, Small Projects Fund 2018, implement by Solidarity Fund PL in Moldova.
Solidarity Fund PL in Moldova supports the creation and the activity of Local Action Groups in Republic of Moldova, based on the LEADER approach.
The project “Creating the necessary conditions for fruit processing in the LAG microregion ‘Plaiul Codrilor’” is implemented in the framework of LEADER rural edition of Small Project Funds 2018 (with the support of Polish aid) and supported by the “Plaiul Codrilor” LAG.