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Sergiu Gaibu: There is no shortage of grain, but wheat export remains banned

There are no preconditions for the Republic of Moldova to remain without essential food products. The minister of economy assured that the country does not face a shortage of wheat, but the Commission for Exceptional Situations kept the ban on the export of wheat, wheat flour and sugar. Sergiu Gaibu said that even if the war on the border disrupted the imports from Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Belarus, there are alternatives to all the products imported earlier from these three states. Buckwheat is the only product that will be absent from store shelves for a period, IPN reports.

The Commission for Exceptional Situations banned the export of wheat and sugar as from March 1 and then also banned the export of wheat flour for the period of the state of emergency. This way, the authorities aim to ensure the country’s food security during the security crisis in the region.

“We have enough wheat at the moment. There is no shortage. The export of wheat was banned and the quantities are enough to meet the needs of the population and to feed animals until the new harvest. The quantities of corn are even larger than statistics showed and the export was resumed, but is strictly monitored by the Ministry of Agriculture,” Sergiu Gaibu stated in the talk show “Thursday with Liliana Barbăroșie” on the public TV channel.

The minister said the higher food prices are a consequence of the war in Ukraine and of global inflation. The shortage of particular products on the market is created artificially and the products imported earlier from Ukraine are replaced with imports from the EU.

“The price rises are due to the international crisis. The increase in prices in the energy sector affected the other products and this snowball continues to grow. The war in the neighboring country amplified the given process. The absence of products is rather an effect of the panic fueled by incorrect news. An amount of 1,000 tonnes of salt was imported in January-February and 300 more tonnes were imported from Romania the past week. There is no shortage of salt as this is also produced in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland. We earlier imported from these countries too, but the cheapest salt was in Ukraine. It is a difference in prices, but it is not significant,” stated Sergiu Gaibu.

He noted that buckwheat is the only product that does not have alternatives on the European market. It is a product typical of the ex-Soviet space and is cultivated mostly in Ukraine and Russia. It will therefore disappear from stores for a period.

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