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Development of agricultural and non-agricultural services, cooperation and agricultural advisory system in rural regions of Moldova

According to the UNDP report (Human Development Report 2013), Moldova is in 114th place, directly after Bolivia, in the global HDI ranking and holds the lowest place in Europe (to compare: Belarus 53, Ukraine 83). According to the World Bank, Moldova with per capita GDP counted by the purchasing power parity amounting to about USD 4 669 (directly behind Pakistan) is also definitely the poorest country in Europe (to compare: Belarus USD 17 615, Ukraine USD 8 788).

The Moldovan economy is very dependent on the agricultural sector, which as the main area of Moldovan economy gives about 60 percent of revenues from exports and directly employs over 40 percent, and taking into account the population living off income associated with agriculture, well over 50 percent of the vocationally active population. According to available sources, in Moldova, and particularly in rural regions, there exist: the biggest areas of poverty, the lowest wages, the largest economic emigration and the biggest threats related to social exclusion. A direct result of the situation is the immense economic emigration. Statistics indicate that nearly one million people have emigrated from Moldova for economic reasons (nearly 25 percent of the population and nearly 45 percent of occupationally active people). These indicators are even higher in the agricultural sector. The mass economic emigration from rural areas has very negative economic and social consequences, which include: depopulation of rural areas and loss of the most entrepreneurial people, broken families, lack of care for children and elderly persons, abandoned farms. There are also budgetary consequences: lower tax revenues and higher social expenditures, which substantially limit Moldova’s developmental possibilities. In view of the above, particular importance is attached to actions to develop entrepreneurship, creating capacity of producer groups and providing support for agricultural consultancy.

Development of agricultural and non-agricultural services, cooperation and agricultural advisory system in rural regions of Moldova

Rural regions in Moldova are particularly lagging behind in development. Poverty and unemployment directly contribute to the huge economic emigration. The pilot development projects successfully implemented in 2010-2014 revealed the great determination of the local rural environment (agricultural cooperatives, small enterprises, local communities, local-government authorities) in the implementation of projects associated with the development of rural entrepreneurship to improve the economic situation of the people. The authorities of Moldova strive to significantly improve the conditions of development of entrepreneurship in rural areas.

The implementation of the project entitled “Development of agricultural and non-agricultural services, cooperation and the agricultural advisory system in rural regions of Moldova” is to enhance the development of rural entrepreneurship in order to reduce poverty in Moldova’s rural regions. The planned actions will not only serve the direct beneficiaries of the project (by fostering support for local service establishments, creating jobs, raising income and improving the standard of living of the residents), but in the long run will also support the development of rural entrepreneurship through the improvement of the quality and accessibility of agricultural and non-agricultural services, popularising innovative solutions and promoting cooperation and joint undertakings. The model schemes created as a result of the project, concerning agricultural and non-agricultural services, should serve further multiplication, mainly through the actions of experts working in the ACSA agricultural consultancy system, supported by funds from e.g. the EU (2014-2020) ENPARD programme, the systems of grants from the Ministry of Agriculture (for agricultural services), the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Regional Development (for non-agricultural services), and many international organisations operating in Moldova (UNDP, USAID, SIDA, GIZ, etc.).

Development of agricultural and non-agricultural services, cooperation and agricultural advisory system in rural regions of Moldova

Implementation of the project will result in the following:

  1. Expansion and retrofitting of 7 local agricultural service establishments in the villages of Egoreni, Dănceni, Mitoc, Braviceni, Bujor, Hîrtop, and Grigorăuca.
  2. Modernisation of 3 agricultural service centres in the villages of Chetrosu, Cupcini and Hogineşti.
  3. Increasing the network of local advisors/consultants by 10 persons (operating in the ACSA system of agricultural consultancy).