The central region of Moldova is known to produce the highest quality of fruits throughout Moldova; grapes, tomatoes, plums, cherries, apples and of course the juiciest watermelons you can eat are all grown in this region of Moldova. Gheorghe O. lives in the town of Sipoteni, rather than joining the many farmers already involved in production, he decided to take a further step and begin processing the produce into a higher value good. The main focus and cash crop of his business is drying plums into prunes, but his equipment can be used for many different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Gheorghe also produces dried apples, eggplant, squash and tomatoes to name a few. For this he uses a high efficiency drying machine, powered by a gas furnace and multiple fans. It takes only one and a half hours for a batch of fresh produce to dry completely. After dehydration, the goods can be stored, packaged and shipped much more efficiently and obviously brings higher prices. His products are sold around Moldova and are bought by wholesalers as well.
The scale of the operation has really grown lately, now having reached a level of production of 300 kilograms of fruit or vegetables per shift. The process of cleaning, de-seeding, and drying requires about a dozen workers per shift for this volume (these workers are all women from a local village), so his company currently employs 25 people. Gheorghe now needs a short term loan to fund the purchase of the last harvest of plums to fill a large order. His business is an ambitious one; the kind that holds much promise for helping Moldova develop into the future.