Interviu cu Cazac Efim, apicultor din Soroca

Do you know that to produce 1 kilogram of honey, a bee needs to visit about 5 million flowers? In addition to being the only insects that produce food for humans, bees play an important role in the process of pollinating plants and preserving the natural balance.  For Efim Cazac, a fourth-generation beekeeper, bees have been a passion of his life since his early childhood.  He’d grown up at his grandparents’ and parents’ apiaries, and today he managed to realize his “sweet” dream, caring for hundreds of hives in 8 villages in Soroca district, producing tons of honey annually, and raising dozens of new bee families.

He started his business in 2015, and today he has more than 1200 hives.

In the Republic of Moldova, beekeeping is a very popular occupation, with a rich history and hundreds of beekeepers who share it. In addition to managing the peasant farm that he created and developed, Efim Cazac is also the president of the Association of Beekeepers from Soroca Plain (Asociației de Apicultori din Câmpia Sorocii), and for several years a loyal customer of Microinvest. With the support of the Company, the beekeeper was able to expand his apiary to the maximum and get a taste for the agricultural business.

“The history of our family business began with our great-grandfather, Tudor, who raised bees and produced honey. From him, his love of the apiary has been passed on from generation to generation so that we could follow his lead with pride and passion.  After studying in an entirely different field, architecture, I decided to return home and become a beekeeper. My grandfather and father had left me 40 family hives, after which I applied for a project and bought another 150 hives. Thus, year after year, we began expanding our apiary, and today there can overwinter 1,200 bee families, and we have contracts for the entire 2021”, confessed the young beekeeper, showing us one of his apiaries, located in his native Hristici village.

“Regarding the first credit, everyone told us that we’d be left without a house and food.”

The Soroca beekeeper firmly states that once you fall in love with the apiary and honey, it’s hard to part with them.  Moreover, beekeeping turns into a passion.  In the Cazac family, all decisions about running a small business, which has become quite large over time, are made together. The formula for success is simple – making the most of any support.  So far, they have applied for more than 50 projects, 13 of which have been successful.  The good results have prompted them to resort to loans, which they believe have become a real rescue, and without which it is virtually impossible to develop a small business, especially in the agricultural sector.

“If we had listened to others and had not taken our first credit, today we wouldn’t even have 100 hives. It is almost impossible to start a business from scratch, without financial support.  Nothing just falls from the sky.  What’s the secret to good credit? Nothing complicated, just make a business plan as objective as possible and do not dream to the fullest. When I took the first credit, I was still with my head in the clouds and reality was a bit different. When I took the second one, I was more experienced already. Why would I invest my own resources when I could invest the resources of a credit institution, calculating them very well and responsibly,” says Efim Cazac, who today can boast not only fairly rich credit history but also good results in his business.

“Beekeeping doesn’t wait!  Microinvest came to us just in time.”

Like any other branch of agriculture, beekeeping is a seasonal activity, but one that requires investment all year round.  The year for beekeepers begins in August when they start preparing bee families for wintering, with which they can come out in the spring, when the acacia honey harvest season begins, the most sought-after and valuable type of honey.  The main investment goes on hives and equipment, and as Efim Cazac told us, in beekeeping it is necessary to act strategically and quickly to get a good harvest. This is why he appealed to Microinvest.

“In 2017, we needed money during the season, and we visited all lending institutions in Soroca to analyze the offers available.  It didn’t take us long to return to Microinvest because they treated us with trust and respect and even took our situation into account. In addition to favorable interest and commissions, it was important to us that everything was as quick and easy as possible. We got a loan in three days, which is almost impossible in the banks.  Microinvest considers credits as cooperation, respects each client, and offers really suitable solutions. For banks, a hive is not an investment but just a cardboard box, but for us beekeepers, a hive is a real treasure.  I can firmly say that if I had not gone to Microinvest, I definitely would not be where I am today, and I am very grateful that they believed in me and my intentions,” admits a young beekeeper from Soroca.

In 2021, they have grand plans: to create a Masterclass Center and their own brand of honey

The pandemic affected not only large- and medium-sized businesses but also the agricultural sector, especially beekeeping. However, despite the challenges, the Cazac family remains optimistic and maintains new plans and projects. The first one is to build two more apiaries in Soroca and to raise new bee families, which have become quite a sought-after product on the Moldovan market.  Another important goal, which I have been suggesting for a long time, is to educate the consumption of honey in our country and to promote local honey under our own brand name.

“Being a beekeeper is like a lottery, and you never know for sure how much honey you will have. Bees are living creatures, too, and they feel when you do it wholeheartedly or for profit.  For us, beekeeping is more than just a business. With credits, we dream about things we didn’t even think about a few years ago.  We want to create our own brand of honey, package it up and put it on the shelves of gas stations to teach people to consume honey like sugar. We’re also looking to bring a new beekeeping product to the market – honey cream.  We already have special equipment for its production, which we are now testing. We really want our honey to be valued in our country so that it doesn’t need to be exported. Today, 90% of our harvest is exported to Europe in bulk, where prices are lower, and nobody knows that this is Moldovan honey, produced with love and hard work.  Moldovan beekeepers know how to produce good honey, we just need to know how to promote it here at home,” says optimist Efim Cazac.

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