A Romanian priest and his wife personally organized a pick-up of tons of cucumbers and zucchini that were dumped in southern Romania and donated them to monasteries in the area.
Farmers and producers said they throw away “tens of tons” of produce as they can’t sell them even at giveaway prices.
They even claim they can’t give them away for free.
A local priest decided that rather than let then vegetables rot, he’d take them to Orthodox monasteries in the southern county of Arges, Adevărul reported on Friday.
On July 1, as southern Romania baked in scorching temperatures of up to 40 Celsius, the unnamed priest from the county of Olt and his wife gathered up tons of vegetables and transported them on a truck they’d borrowed to local monasteries.
Local farmer Mihai Chesnoiu said that farmers were dumping the vegetables due to a glut of produce.
„We had overproduction in the past, but cucumbers weren’t thown away. This is a one-off’”, he said.
He said farmers were growing cucumbers and zucchini because they didn’t have government subsidies and cucumbers are relatively cheap to grow.
Tomatoes are “more difficult to grow more costly and last year we couldn’t get much for them”.
“Farmers have opted for cucumbers, which at the right price is more profitable than tomatoes.”
They are also growing eggplants and bell peppers which cost more than cucumbers, the farmer said.
„The best solution is for everyone to grow what they normally do, so as producers were have stability.”
“I grow the same crop, and even if there is a glut this fall, people will come back to me next year”.
The farmer praised the priest for his initiative.
“He saw the pictures of the dumped vegetables and tried to find someone to give them to”, Mr Chesnoiu said. „We’ve never has such big quantities before”.
“We producers are relieved (at what he did), which is sad.”