UNEP Green Economy Advisory Services – Moldova
The Green Economy Advisory Services provides governments with policy advice, technical assistance and capacity building to help governments develop and implement initiatives to transform and revitalize their economies. For information on the program globally, click here.
Agriculture and agro-processing sectors play a prominent role in Moldova’s economy. It generates about one-third of its GDP, accounts for almost 70% of its total exports’ volume and employs over one-fourth of the country’s active labor force. However, unsustainable farming practices have brought about negative impacts on Moldova’s social, economic and environmental infrastructures.
Crop yields are far below European levels and do not reach even those of its neighboring countries, while yields for grains (wheat, barley, maize and sunflower seeds) all show long-term stagnating trends. In terms of environmental impacts, the sector is a major contributor to the erosion of natural capital, degradation of natural resources and ecosystems, and loss of biodiversity. The extensification of agriculture is so high that it has resulted in the reduction of agricultural land.
UNEP has been collaborating with the government of Moldova on various themes ranging from environment and security assessment and monitoring to support planning and pilot projects for cities’ climate change mitigation actions.
As regards the country’s transition to a green economy, UNEP has worked with stakeholders through national consultations to assess the opportunities and challenges in organic agriculture, which is considered to be one of the significant sectors in the country’s economy.
Some of the major challenges to Moldova’s transition to organic farming are barriers to production, domestic market development and export of quality export products, as well as adverse impacts of climate change and natural hazards.
More concretely, this implies limited availability of organic fertilizers, pest complications, lack of advanced irrigation systems, integrated plant protection system, technologies for harvesting, storing and processing facilities and inadequate knowledge about the many aspects of organic production.
Furthermore, most Moldovans lack knowledge about organic farming principles and benefits, and organic farmers are faced with low purchasing power and limited or lack of access to international markets and market information due to high costs of international certification.
In addition, major infrastructure deficiencies, such as substandard roads, insufficient or lack of modern cooling storage, adversely affect organic products because of its smaller volume and specific requirements for special handling conditions.
Finally, a more insidious threat comes from the impacts of climate change and related natural hazards that threaten not only organic agriculture but also conventional agriculture. At the same time, the organic sector in Moldova is very dynamic. It is expected to grow at an annual rate of at least 13%. If this rate is sustained, about 109 000 ha of land will be cultivated under organic method in 10 years, which will be equivalent to approximately 5% of total agricultural land.
Outputs and resources
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