Going organic through innovation
Going organic through innovation
Agriculture is the main sector of Moldovan economy, directly affected by climate change, but also by a
change in practices. While having great benefits for people´s livelihoods (employing 28,8% of the labor force) Moldovan conventional agriculture has also a significant impact on the environment. The National Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy 2014-2020 identified the following challenges for Moldovan agriculture: Water pollution; Biodiversity loss; Land degradation/ nutrient loss/ erosion; Water scarcity/salinity; Carbon footprint; Natural resource depletion; Increasing frequency of air temperature and precipitation extremes. Furthermore, according to a study implemented by UNDP1, climate projections for Moldova indicate a 3.40C increase in mean annual temperature, decline in mean summer rainfall by 19.3%, stronger and more frequents droughts, increased exposure to new pests and diseases for agricultural crops and livestock, and risky agricultural production environment.
The proposed project focuses on promoting sustainable management of agricultural land in order to
increase farmers’ resilience to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through
promotion techniques of integrated agriculture. The project is implemented together with Organic
Farmer’s Cooperative -”Ecoferm”, the first cooperative of organic farmers, comprised of 6 members,
recently established through PIN initiative, and Moldova Organic Value Chain Alliance – MOVCA,
the only association of ecologically certified farmers in the country, bringing together 34 members to
promote innovation and provides added value services to organic farmers. The project will be
implemented in 6 village communities where Ecoferm members are active and are able to play a key
role in the implementation process and ensuring the long-term sustainability: Cuhurestii de Sus
(Floresti), Ghindesti (Floresti), Oliscani (Soldanesti), Vascauti (Floresti), Cosauti (Soroca) and Navirnet
The needs assessment and community profiling (Annex 2) performed by PIN in December 2019 has
identified a series of common challenges, with the intervention planning to address the following:
• Unsustainable agricultural practices including land and soil fertility management leading to loss of
organic matter, erosion and decline of the yields of crops. According to an UNECE report2: “soil
degradation is estimated to cost Moldova’s economy US$ 239 million/year, with the poorest subsistence farming households being most affected”.
• Inadequate animal manure management, mainly storage and handling resulting in soil, water and
air pollution, nutrient losses and contributing to increased CHG emissions.
• Poor organic waste management - burning crop residues and other vegetal material, illegal waste
dumps, leading both to wasting of useful resources and to air, water and soil pollution.
• Overuse or underuse of fertilizers, or excessive use of chemicals and pesticides. While big farmers
tend to overuse fertilizers, leading to soil and water acidification, contamination of water sources and
increased greenhouse emissions, small farmers underuse fertilizers, exhausting soil nutrients and
leading to soil degradation and declining yields. According to the same UNDP study mentioned above
“Most farmers lack basic knowledge of the life cycle of major pests of their crops, and there is an overreliance of pesticides, leading inevitably to their excessive use. Biological control strategies are rather an abnormality than a rule in the Moldovan agriculture.”
These are mostly caused by lack of knowledge and skills on performing integrated agriculture (including lack of qualified workforce identified as a problem in all communities), access to inputs (including the decreased tendency in livestock farming, resulting in a decrease of manure available), technologies, and finance (with over 90% of households in the targeted communities doing subsistence agriculture and with all communities identifying the access to markets as one of the main challenges in generating income from agriculture).
The theory of change of the project is that if we capacitate the key actors (Ecoferm cooperative
members) and the communities with the proper technology, infrastructure, but also business
management skills, and if we promote good soil practices and increase the skills and know-how of the
main stakeholders to identify and address the common problems they are facing in the agricultural
sector, then we contribute to a sustainable rural development through providing a good practice
example of integrated agriculture and effective ecological management of agricultural land.
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Project Snapshot

AO Reprezentanta in Republica Moldova a Organizatiei “People in Need” din Republica Ceha
Area Of Work:
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 49,874.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 33,248.85
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 25,000.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
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SGP Country office contact

Mr. Denis Parea
+373 22 839-876
+373 22 839-876
Ms. Irina Pinzaru
+373 22 839876
+373 22 839876


65 Stefan cel Mare Blvd., of. 511
Chisinau, MD-2001
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