Chişinau, May 28, 2012. The World Bank and the Government of Moldova signed today agreements for a project to improve Moldova’s agricultural competitiveness and farmers’ livelihood.
The Moldova Agricultural Competitiveness Project will be financed by a US$ 18 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional arm for poorer countries and a US$ 4.4 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The project aims to enhance the competitiveness of Moldova’s agro-food sector through: (i) supporting the modernization of the food safety management system; (ii) facilitating market access for farmers; and (iii) mainstreaming agro-environmental and sustainable land management practices.
“The Moldova Agricultural Competitiveness Project will help enhance key elements of the country’s agriculture sector competitiveness by focusing on important institutional development aspects and direct support to farmers,” said Prime Minister of Moldova Vladimir Filat. “The GEF financed component will assist the Government in disseminating a wide range of sustainable land management practices to reduce land degradation.”
The project will contribute to the realization of the 2011-2014 Government of Moldova Program that is based on three pillars: investment, innovation and competitiveness. Agriculture is one of the largest sectors of the Moldovan economy and is a potentially important engine of growth. To this end, the project will support reforms aimed at enhancing export competitiveness, facilitating market access for farmers, supporting agricultural business development through consulting and training, ensuring regulatory harmonization with EU food safety requirements, attracting investments and achieving closer trade integration with the European Union through a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. Global environmental benefits will be achieved from increased stability of agro-ecosystems, increased levels of carbon sequestration, and reduced land degradation including erosion and pollution with agricultural chemicals.
"Most of Moldova’s poor depends on agriculture for their livelihood. This project will help the country improve its agricultural productivity and increase income and living standards for farmers”, – said Qimiao Fan, the World Bank Country Director for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova.
Since Moldova joined the World Bank in 1992, a total of US$ 880 million have been allocated to 42 operations in the country. Currently, the World Bank portfolio includes 11 active projects with total commitments of US$ 281 million. Areas of support include education, social assistance, e-governance, healthcare, energy, agriculture, business development, and others.
The GEF unites 182 countries in partnership with international institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. Since 1991, the GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing $10.5 billion in grants and leveraging $51 billion in co-financing for over 2,700 projects in over 165 countries. Through its Small Grants Programme (SGP), the GEF has also made more than 14,000 small grants directly to civil society and community based organizations, totaling $634 million.