On May 30, in the frame of "Fruits Route" initiative, Madein.md team paid its second visit to domestic agricultural producers. After a productive visit to the strawberry plantation, it was logical to continue this series of trips to the first fruits of summer – sweet cherries.

In the orchards of Negresti village, Straseni, owned LGVD-Agro company, we discussed with the farmer Gheorghe Soilita, who told us many interesting things about the varieties of cherries that he grows in Moldova and many other fascinating aspects of this crop.

How to plant and grow sweet cherries in Moldova

The sweet cherry orchard from Negresti is quite young, most of its varieties were planted about four years ago. It occupies an area of 70 hectares. At the beginning of his activity, farmer Gheorghe Soilita received several subventions from the state for planting crops and for the purchase of irrigation systems, which however, covered only a small percentage of the expenditures. Besides cherries, LGVD-Agro company also grows several varieties of table grapes, peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums.

On the subject of growing cherries, Mr. Gheorghe told us that he is trying to use a minimum of insecticides and other chemicals, but it is very important to take all the necessary measures to protect plants from pests. Thus initially, to kill the bacteria, the trees are sprayed with a solution of copper sulfate, and then in the period of flowering, to combat the Epicometis Hirta beetle – trees are sprayed with a highly effective and expensive insecticide , called Calypso, developed by specialists from Europe and characterized by the fact that it does not kill the bees, but only dangerous parasites.

In addition, to protect the fruit against bad weather conditions, the enterprise implemented and uses several irrigation systems, anti-hail and anti-frost installation.

What varieties are grown in the orchard of Negresti

Mr. Gheorghe told us that at the moment, in the orchard, there are grown about 30 varieties of European cherry. Some of them were planted for scientific reasons, in order to learn how they can adapt to the local climate conditions and how productive they are. Most varieties are characterized by the fact that they are easily transportable, resistant to rain, and are much larger than traditional Moldavian sweet cherry. Depending on the variety, the quality, taste during and ripening period of cherries are different, but all within the month of June.

This is a very young fruit orchard, it barely begins to give fruits, and this year, the weather is not very favorable for the harvest. Because of the rains that have passed the last two-three weeks, a lot of cherry fell down and because of the frosts in the early spring, some varieties have had problems with the flowering, namely the pollination of flowers.

The sweet cherries from this orchard are very fragrant and delicious, and can be used for current consumption, as well as for various compotes, jams and other canned foods.

Target clients and markets

LGVD-Agro from Negresti, is one of the few enterprises that supply cherries to Chisinau markets such as Metro, NR1 or Fourchette, but Mr. Gheorghe told us that for these stores they supply a relatively small amount of fruits.

In addition, in previous years, the company established contacts with buyers from Russia and now they export a significant part of its production to the Russian Federation. For the capital city's shops the sweet cherry costs about 40 lei per kg, while in Russia it goes for $ 2 per kilogram.

LGVD-Agro from Negresti also has a refrigerator which can store about 1500 tons of fruits. The entrepreneurs bought it at their own expense and now expect subsidies from the state.

Cherries from Negresti, at least those that are ripe, are very tasty, juicy and fragrant. The fruit is quite large and has no worms. Cherry is very useful for our health, and the fact that we have farmers who are actively and seriously engaged in their cultivation is surely a beneficial fact.