Sustainable Agriculture in Moldova

Moldova, officially the Republic of Moldova, is a landlocked country surrounded by Romania and Ukraine in eastern Europe. Previously part of the Soviet Union, Moldova was then one of the richest countries in Europe. Nowadays, despite its progress in recent years, Moldova remains the poorest country in Europe.

Moldova is mainly an agricultural country, with about 75 percent of its land utilized for farming and agriculture. However, Moldova still suffers from food insecurity and an unstable economy. The economy in Moldova is thwarted by high government spending and low government integrity. Moldova is nearly completely reliant on agricultural exports to other countries.

Recently, Moldovans have introduced initiatives to create sustainable agriculture in Moldova and to enhance the competitiveness of the agro-food sector.

In 2012, the World Bank funded the Moldova Agriculture Competitiveness Project. The goal of this project is to enhance the competitiveness of the agro-food sector by modernizing food safety management, increasing market access for farmers and creating sustainable land management. This will increase Moldovan agricultural exports to other countries, which will lead to future economic growth. Moldova received over $20 million in funding from the World Bank for the project, including additional funding in 2015 and 2016. The project is set to close in 2019.

The Moldovan non-governmental organization EcoVisio was created in 2017. The aim of the organization is to increase awareness and education for sustainable development in Moldova, specifically in establishing sustainable agriculture in Moldova. The organization has a goal of education in the fields of organic agriculture and eco-construction. This will help create food security in Moldova.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has also implemented initiatives within Moldova. Since 2015, the United Nations has spent more than $1 million on creating and strengthening sustainable agriculture in Moldova. In accordance with the Technical Cooperation Program, the FAO has been working to strengthen the food safety system in Moldova. By growing safer and healthier food, Moldovans will be able to create better food security for their country.

Another way that the FAO is trying to create sustainable agriculture in Moldova is through pest control. In particular, the United Nations initiative focuses on integrated pest management, the disposal of obsolete and harmful pesticides and enabling other conditions specific to food safety.

Many of these initiatives have already started to help stabilize the economy. The GDP in 2016 was over $6 million, which, while still low, is slowly rising. Unemployment was also down to just over 4 percent in 2016.

Moldova still has a long way to go before it has a completely sustainable agriculture system. These programs and projects have created a great starting place and have laid the groundwork for Moldovans to build on for many years to come. By creating sustainable agriculture in Moldova, the Moldovan economy will have a better opportunity to stabilize and prosper further.

– Courtney Wallace

Photo: Flickr