“We consider Romania to be a hidden gem in the field of agriculture: The country boasts a vast and fertile landscape as well as an experienced workforce, which have enabled us to grow our business exponentially since 2004,” explains Manuel Coronado, Founder and CEO of Quality Crops Agro.
Moreover, Romania’s European Union membership has permanently propped open trade doors with its western neighbours, while the country’s close geographic proximity to eastern markets further facilitates diversified business relations. “Quality Crops Agro remains at the forefront of Romania’s full seed production service companies, having been the first of its kind,” adds Mr. Coronado.
Quality Crops Agro specializes in the multiplication of a few key cultures like corn, sunflowers, rape seed and soybean, which Mr. Coronado aptly categorizes as ‘intensive care’ crops. “Our core business is hybrid seed production, especially corn and sunflower seed – crops that require a high degree of sophistication and perfect attention to detail in order to achieve the high-quality standards that the international market demands.” This is where the company’s unwavering focus on the application of technological advancements proves vital.
“Our team of agronomists represents varied educational and professional backgrounds and brings a unique combination of specialist skills in seed production, expertise in international business, as well as an intimate knowledge of the local markets to the table. They have equipped Quality Crops with the latest tools for our seed processing facilities,” elaborates Mr. Coronado. These include No-Till planters and Silo Bag storage solutions – innovations that were previously not employed by rural agricultural communities in Romania.
“There is a pressing need for farmers to rethink some of their traditional methods in order to collectively combat the effects of soil degradation. We are spearheading this shift toward the implementation of sustainable technologies to optimize productivity and conserve natural resources,” says Mr. Coronado.
The aforementioned No-Till system is one such technology that Quality Crops has successfully introduced to its farming methods with the aim of reducing labour and equipment costs by 60%, while eliminating the need to till fields. Because the process of tilling disrupts the presence of permanent soil cover, this innovative system has proved effective at reducing soil erosion by increasing rain water storage and soil fertility, which leads to more stable yields when compared to conventional systems.
Moreover, following harvest, Quality Crops ensures that its yields are properly stored in optimum conditions using Silo Bags – an innovative and cost-effective response to the widespread storage and commercialization challenges faced by farmers.
“With this storage system, Romanian farmers are no longer forced to offload their grains cheaply, directly from the field. Instead, storing the harvests in Silo Bags allows them to wait for the best prices and weather conditions at a fraction of the price of conventional storage alternatives,” highlights Mr. Coronado, who takes inspiration from his homeland of Argentina when it comes to cutting-edge methods of farming.
“Agricultural industries as a whole are particularly vulnerable to climate change, but there are certain measures that we can take to brace for the impact, like sustainable irrigation methods, planting and harvest dates, as well as the use of different maturity groups,” he states. “We draw on the best practices of others to ensure that we do everything in our power to mitigate the negative side effects.”
As seed production depends heavily on climatic conditions, Mr. Coronado has been conscientious about the need to diversify its growing locations both within Romania and throughout Europe to cope with the risk of further unpredictable and extreme weather patterns.
As a reliable supplier of high-quality non-GMO seeds, Quality Crops has secured an increasing number of clients from throughout the European Union, Argentina, Ukraine, Russia and even the USA – achieving a steady export margin of 95%. “We are proud to be at the forefront of a more sustainable future of farming,” states Mr. Coronado.