The cooperative of fruit and berry producers, whose post-harvest infrastructure is located in the village of Nishkan (Calarasi district), this year was the first in Moldova to sort garden fruits (strawberries) using the equipment previously used in the country only in the process of sorting table grapes and plums.
Now sorting, weighing and packing 1.8 tons of berries grown by members of the cooperative takes only one work day. At the same time, sorting/packaging in consumer packaging can improve the quality and ensure the uniformity of the finished product. And that means - and increase its price.
In Moldova, automated (mechanical and semi-mechanical) fruit sorting is no longer a rarity. According to expert estimates, no less than fifty sorting / packing lines are already operating in agricultural enterprises specializing in the production of fruits and grapes. They are successfully used in sorting apples, plums and table grapes. This year, such a universal line was first used in the process of grading berries. That, apparently, is logical. In the last five to seven years, the berry sector in Moldova has been developing in quantitative terms - areas and yields are growing.
But labor is not enough and manufacturers need to improve production technology and post-harvest processing technology. PDG Fruct, a member of the Nishkan cooperative, has adapted modern technology to the needs of the berry business. This year, with the financial support of the Efficient Agriculture of Moldova project, ARM / USAID company acquired and installed in its Nishkan refrigeration complex a line for sorting, packaging and labeling fruits. In early summer, it sorted strawberries grown on 40 hectares of berry plantations of the cooperative.