Those who have invested in walnut orchards say that money is not the issue, but patience. Because the profit appears only after 10 years. A kilogram of walnut kernel can cost 70 lei.
One of the most important walnut processors in the country, but also in Central and Eastern Europe, chose to invest five million euros in a modern factory in Ciugud, in Alba County.
Adriana Drămbărean, technical director in a factory: “The emergence of new producers, as well as the favorable years, the last favorable years for the production of nuts, have increased the quantities of nuts in our country”.
Fruit and nut bars are also sought after.
Gabriela Anton, marketing specialist in a factory: “About 60% of our production is exported in bulk and packaged products to over 23 countries on three continents.”
Last year, Romania obtained three times more nuts than Spain and had almost 20 tons over the production of Greece.
Walnut production in 2021:
Romania – 60,820 tons
Greece – 43,360 tons
France – 40,260 tons
Spain – 20,020 tons
Italy – 14,660 tons
A family from Alba County planted over 500 walnuts of a Romanian variety on four hectares, seven years ago.
Alex Cutean, orchard owner: “In this plantation we have invested 3,000-3,500 euros only for seedlings taken seven years ago.”
In the last three years, over 40 hectares of walnut plantations have been set up in Alba County alone. From one hectare results seven tons of nuts in shell, and if the variety is French, ten tons per hectare.
Number of nuts (trees):
2017 – 1,842,007
2018 – 1.918.156
2019 – 1,936,247
2020 – 2.006.104
Nicu Spineanu, advisor to the Alba Agricultural Directorate: “It is an easy-to-maintain crop, it does not require many phytosanitary treatments for a very long period of operation up to 25 years.”
Walnuts are also present in pastries. In addition to the well-known baclavale, confectioners choose walnut kernels for crispy tops.
Flavia Balcău, manager: “People ask us what kind of walnut we have and they are very excited when they hear that it is a Romanian walnut”.
People even buy caramelized core, pepper, salt or cells.