Supported by the European Union, the spouses Carauș from Negurenii Vechi village are developing their business in agriculture
November 2, 2022
The spouses Irina and Aurel Carauș from Negurenii Vechi village, Ungheni district, are passioned by agriculture and in love with living in the countryside. In 2008 they have planted an apple orchard, in which they have invested money, time and energy. In 2021, through a grant offered by the European Union, they bought a modern fruit harvesting platform, that represents another step towards the fulfilment of their dream: to have a modern, super-intensive and fruitful orchard.
The company of Carauș family is one of the 12 beneficiaries of the grant offered by “Movila Măgura” Local Action Group (LAG) from the European funds of the “EU4Moldova: Focal regions Programme”. In 2021, Movila Măgura LAG received assistance in the amount of €50,000 which, in its turn, is invested in development projects of the community that are members of the group.
He bought the lands that belonged once to his gran-grandfather and planted an apple orchard
Aurel and Irina were born in the village, then they tried to find their purpose outside their hometown, but finally they came back.
Aurel has worked for 15 years in Moscow, where he started as a loader and became an engineer. Irina is a lawyer by background, and she worked for many years at Ungheni Tribunal. Then they decide to settle in Aurel’s native village. “I wanted to spend the rest of my life in nature, to create something. With my wife, we decided to settle in the countryside, to invest and to leave something behind ourselves, and we started to cultivate apples,” says Aurel.
And this is how in 2008 the spouses Carauș became farmers. They planted the apple orchard which covers 18 hectares on the lands which have belonged in the past to Aurel’s grand grandfather. “The orchard is located in Caraușeni area (the locals name the area after the ex-owner) and it returned to Carauș family again. So, we are restoring Carauș domains,” the spouses explain, proudly.
A modern and super-intensive orchard
They have undertaken the risks of a business, especially in agriculture and they have learned from books, from their own experience and from that of other professionals and finally they have a modern orchard. One can see the results of their work each autumn, when they harvest the fruits. “There were years when we collected even 62 tons of apples. If you take good care of the orchard, it gives a good harvest,” Irina tells us.
The apples from Negurenii Vechi are sold on the local market. Carauș spouses have concluded several contracts with companies that buy their merchandise.
In 2021, thanks to the grant offerd by the European Union, Irina and Aurel bought a harvesting platform. “Before we used to work with a ladder, every worker leaned it to the tree, climbed on it and harvested the apples. Nevertheless, the high-quality apples were high above and they had to shake the tree, apples were falling down and their quality automatically decreased,” tells Aurel.
With the purchased platform, the work productivity increases, the apples are being harvested in a qualitative way and on two rows at a time. From five to eight people may climb on the platform and they harvest the apples from the middle and upper part of the tree.
Starting last fall, the spouses Carauș have been using the harvesting platform and this high-performance equipment perfectly fits with their view about modern agriculture. Carauș family has already a high-performance irrigation system, they use drip irrigation and equipment that automated their work in the orchard. This way, together with their younger son, manage to take care of the orchard the year around and they employ day workers only in the harvesting season.
There are no holidays in agriculture
Irina and Aurel are hard-working and ambitious, they don’t complain and work from early morning. “There are no holidays in agriculture, the work may not be left aside, there are moments when today is too early and tomorrow it might be late,” admits Irina. This is why it sometimes they work more than 12 hours a day. After 14 years of having chosen agriculture, they don’t regret anything, moreover, they have big plans for development. “No risk, no fun, we invested all the money we’ve had, but it was worthwhile,” Aurel adds.
Besides the apple orchard, Carauș family has lands where they have sown wheat, corn, and sunflower, they grow poultry, have a pond and soon intend to open a guesthouse for all those who are fond of nature and rural life. But until then the spouses Carauș continue to work to fulfill their objectives.
About the grants offered to the Local Action Groups: Four Local Action Groups in the regions of Cahul and Ungheni have benefited from grants in the amount of €50,000 each, offered with the financial support of the European Union. The Local Action Groups (LAG) “Lunca Prutului de Jos”, “Cişmeaua Sudului”, “Valea Halmagei” and “Movila Măgura” were selected during a call for grants launched in 2020 by the “EU4Moldova: Focal regions” Programme. 47 development micro projects being carried out in the rural communities of both focal regions. Initiatives to promote sustainable rural tourism, to provide kindergartens with smart equipment, to renovate the parks and public transport waiting stations to facilitate community mobility; support for the existing businesses – provision with modern equipment of the furniture-making factories, bakeries, beekeeping enterprises or dairy products enterprises – are launched in the villages of Cahul and Ungheni regions with the financial support of the European Union. The new projects will create at least 30 new jobs in the 4 LAGs.
The “EU4Moldova: Focal regions” programme: supports intelligent, inclusive, and sustainable social economic development in the regions of Cahul and Ungheni to ensure to the citizens a better quality of life. The Programme (2019-2024), with a total budget of €23 million, is funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).