A modern soil testing laboratory will operate in Ungheni
“Organic fertilizers are a lifesaver for degraded and chemically polluted soils, as they remediate and restore the humus layer, increase resistance to draught, improve the quality of harvest, stimulate the plants’ growth and development,” explains Nicolae Alcaz, who has been producing organic fertilizers in Ungheni, for almost ten years.
In 2021, Nicolae received a grant of €30,000 from the European Union, within the “EU4Moldova: Focal Regions” Programme, implemented by UNDP and UNICEF.
With these funds, Nicolae builds a high-performance modern laboratory for soil analysis. Thus, he will be able to produce fertilizers in larger quantities and in better conditions. At the same time, the investment will generate six new jobs, two of which are highly qualified, for laboratorians in agricultural chemistry.
“The laboratory will have equipment that will establish the micro- and macro-elements of the soil, as well as the organic matter of the solutions transmitted for testing,” notes Nicolae.
From the EU grant, Nicolae has purchased laboratory equipment: for the measurement of pH, ions and photo-metric system, stainless steel reactor for fermentation, digital devices. All these make possible soil’s analyses. Soil composition will be established, based on it, solutions for fertilizing the land will be crafted.
Organic fertilizers, a safety belt for degraded soils
A soil testing laboratory is necessary in the conditions of excessive use of chemical substances: “If chemical fertilizers continue to be used in the next years as well, we will not have soil anymore," says Nicolae Alcaz.
Thus, organic fertilizers are a safety belt for degraded land. “By using chemical fertilizers, 1 mm of humus is washed away every year, while by using organic fertilizers, 1 mm of humus is being added every year,” emphasizes Nicolae.
If before his activity was seasonal, with the launch of the laboratory, it will be extended throughout the year.
"Biostim" organic fertilizers, developed by Nicolae, are adapted for: fruitful tree and shrubs, vine, vegetables and beans, cereals, oleaginous and technical crops, non-flowering decorative shrubs and lawn and decorative grass.
However, some farmers are still resistant and it is difficult to convince them that organic fertilizers are a long-term solution, that they are efficient and necessary to restore the soil’s quality. “Unfortunately, some farmers are sceptical towards new products, especially towards those made in the Republic of Moldova. Many of them prefer chemical fertilizers as they give an immediate effect, but in the long run the organic fertilizers are beneficial for the soil,” notes Nicolae Alcaz.
The entrepreneur has more and more loyal customers, who have tested and been convinced of the positive effect of organic fertilizers. His products are now used by farmers in the south of the country, but also in the north.
For now, Nicolae Alcaz sells his merchandise only on the local market, working directly with farmers and distributors. The entrepreneur plans to start soon exports to the EU. "For five years we were undergoing tests in many laboratories and scientific centers of Romania and at the end of 2021, we obtained the export permit. Now we are identifying distributors and in autumn we plan to make the first export attempt. Our intention is to reach the Romanian market segment and them we are looking towards the Bulgarian one," says Nicolae Alcaz.
The company of Nicolae Alcaz is one of the 26 beneficiaries of the grants programme for the business sector from the focal regions of Ungheni and Cahul, 2020 edition. 15 existing companies, 10 start-ups and one initiative of social entrepreneurship had benefited from grants in the amount of €15,000 – 30,000 each.
The total amount of the grants offered for the business sector from Cahul and Ungheni regions in the period 2020-2024 within the programme is of approximately €1.7 million.
“EU4Moldova: Focal Regions” Programme (2019-2024) supports intelligent, ecological, inclusive and sustainable social-economic development in the regions of Cahul and Ungheni, to provide to the citizens a better quality of life, the programme has a total budget of €23 million, it is funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).