The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced today that Romania has provided it with more than half a million dollars to aid its neighbour Moldova – the first time Romania has ever entered into a contribution agreement with the UN agency.
FAO said Romania will provide some $695,000, which the UN agency will use to provide technical assistance to Moldova during its first General Agriculture Census, to be conducted in early 2011. It noted that with the contribution agreement, Romania was also putting its not-so-distant past as a recipient country behind it.
The two-year project will establish a reliable system of agricultural statistics in Moldova and harmonize it with European Union practices. The Moldovan Government collects annual data on registered enterprises, those larger than 10 hectares – but lacks reliable data regarding the country's thousands of small, family-run subsistence farms, under one hectare in size, that are the most vulnerable to food insecurity situations.
The census will give special focus to this type of farm-holdings and will enable future Moldovan policy-makers to make sound market-oriented decisions, FAO said, adding that it will also provide this small, struggling nation with key benchmark data that will help it calculate the impact of globalization and climate change on its agriculture and rural sectors.
About 75 per cent of the land in Moldova is agricultural and the country’s future economic growth depends upon improving farming. After the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, the country went through two phases of agricultural land privatization and is now planning for integration with the larger European market.