Polska pomoc


Capacity-building of agricultural holdings in the Ungheni District by introducing additional sources of income and residents association

Moldova’s Ungheni District is located on the border with Romania. The bridge on the Prut River in the district’s capital city of Ungheni serves as a border crossing. The Ungheni District has 111 000 inhabitants, of which 75 600 live in rural areas. There are 13 500 farms as well as about 100 firms associated with agriculture.

The average area of an individual farm is about 1.5 ha, of a farm registered as a firm – 200 ha, of a cooperative – 340 ha. The owners of the smallest farms are of course incapable of earning a living in agriculture and therefore they work in industrial establishments in the towns. Farms with an area of 5 – 20 ha are enough to enable farmers to function, but still provide inadequate income. The main crops are cereals, legumes, vegetables, and fruit, including grapevines.

Thanks to its abundant natural and cultural resources, the Ungheni District has great potential for the development of rural tourism. The area is diversified (the highest levels in Moldova). Beautiful beech forests occupy an area of 30 000 ha, part of which constitutes the Bucovina National Park. Many villages offer a unique Moldovan climate, with their small cottages in fairy-tale colours, surrounded by many flowers, with idyllic landscapes – all being model conditions for the development of rural tourism, particularly when combined with the potentially rich cultural attractions: there are 32 folklore bands, and many craftspeople skilled in sculpting, embroidery, and ceramics. Unfortunately, these resources are hardly being used to enhance development of the rural areas, as there are no tourist products based on them.

The possibilities offered by the development of rural tourism in the Ungheni District is perceived by the residents as well as by the local authorities. Many people are interested in the establishment of an agritourist farm, although so far only two farmers have begun to prepare their buildings for this. The development of rural tourism is understood in a very narrow way, taking into account only the accommodations, but not the matter of the essential accompanying infrastructure, the cultural offer and promotion. No one is thinking of the possibility of forming associations to prepare a comprehensive tourist package.

In the Socio-economic Development Strategy of the Ungheni District for the years 2012-2020, approved by the resolution of the District Council No. 1/5 on 23 February 2012, much importance is attached to the development of the tourist potential, above all in rural areas. Emphasis is also placed on the necessity of providing support for entrepreneurs who wish to be involved in rural tourism. It was also pointed out that the natural resources should be made available for tourism through the construction of appropriate infrastructure. The administration of the Bucovina National Park wants to support the development of tourism. However, there is no concept for tourist and educational development of the park grounds. So far, only one tourist trail has been marked here, in an inadequate way at that, and accompanied by poor infrastructure. A very valuable initiative of the park is the organisation of the annual Bucovina Day, when the natural and cultural resources of the Ungheni District can be presented and effectively promoted. The development of tourism in the Ungheni District is also enhanced by its proximity to the border with Romania. Preparation of a rich offer, with interesting tourist products, combined with an effective promotion of the district, can make rural tourism an important source of income for the residents of the Ungheni District.

Capacity-building of agricultural holdings in the Ungheni District by introducing additional sources of income and residents association

The main aim of the project is the development of rural areas of the Ungheni District, enabling the local community to draw benefits from rural tourism.

Place of implementation: rural areas of the Ungheni District, Moldova.

Problems: small and medium-sized farmers are unable to earn their living from agricultural production, while residents who are not farmers are unemployed (particularly women and young people).

Conditions: excellent for the development of rural tourism, with idyllic landscapes, fairy-tale villages, folklore, handicrafts, forests and hills.

Difficulties: no well-thought out tourist products, poor infrastructure, inadequate promotion, lack of a coherent policy for all the interested entities, lack of a vision or ideas for rural development, and a lack of local partnerships.

The aim of the project is to develop rural tourism, which together with tourist-related services would create an opportunity for development of entire villages. Plans include demonstrating to residents and partner institutions good examples from Poland, particularly cases where entire villages join forces towards development, e.g. through the creation of theme villages and eco-museums. A study visit to Poland will be organised for administration staff, NGOs, local leaders and active farmers, to demonstrate good examples. For the development of tourism, it will be very important to improve access to the main tourist attraction: Bucovina National Park. Therefore, a trip to Poland will be organised for the park’s staff, to present the experiences of Polish national and landscape parks. A model tourist trail will be prepared in Bucovina Park, together with infrastructure and a promotional folder. Two workshops will also be held in Ungheni. The first will deal with a diagnosis of the potential, the objectives, the instruments of development, good practices, and developing ideas for rural development, while the second will dwell on monitoring and evaluation tools, ideas for the creation and implementation of ways to develop rural areas, mini-companies, agritourism, and local partnerships. The project will end with a roundtable meeting during which the results of the project will be discussed.

Capacity-building of agricultural holdings in the Ungheni District by introducing additional sources of income and residents association

The project’s implementation will result in the following:

  1. Enabling residents of villages of the Ungheni District to acquire additional sources of income from tourism and services related to tourism.
  2. Building local partnerships targeted at development of rural areas of the Ungheni District (cooperation of local government, wildlife protection services, non-governmental organisations and private individuals).
  3. Working out tourist products based on the cooperation of entire villages, making use of human and natural resources, ensuring revenues for a wide group of people.
  4. Development of tourist infrastructure in Ungheni District (in Bucovina National Park).
  5. Promotion of Ungheni District – above all its cultural, natural and landscape resources.