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  • 10.06.2024

Moldovan agriculture representatives gain insights on the Chambers of Agriculture in Germany and Austria

The first APD study tour for Moldovan agriculture representatives went to Germany and Austria from June 2-7, 2024. The 13-headed Moldovan delegation was led by Mr. Sergiu Gherciu, the Secretary General of the Moldovan Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAIA), and comprised farmers, a representative of the Agriculture Committee of the Moldovan Parliament, and media representatives.

The program was organized by APD Moldova in collaboration with USAID (Chemonics) and aimed at exploring the relevance and impact of the Chambers of Agriculture for knowledge-sharing and learning amongst farmers, and thus, enhancing the performance of the agriculture sector. With Moldova’s aspirations for EU accession, the development of farm advisory services belongs to one of key requirements. As a result, the MAIA drafted a Law on the establishment of a Chamber of Agriculture with mandatory membership, which has been approved in spring by the Council of Ministers and in 1st reading in the Parliament. The program of the study tour enabled the participants to gain experience in theory and practice on this form of farm advisory service.

In Germany, the Moldovan delegation met with the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Julius Kühn (Research) Institute, and engaged themselves in understanding the operations and importance of the Chambers of Agriculture in Lower Saxony and North-Rhine Westphalia. Visiting and exchanging with German farmers enabled the delegation to get the views of agriculture practitioners on the relevance of the Chamber of Agriculture on their farming business.

The second Austrian part of the study tour provided meetings with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Water Management and Regions, LBG Austria, the Federal Institute of Agriculture Economics, Rural and Mountain Research, and the Austrian Hail Insurance Company. The farm visit and meeting at the Chamber of Agriculture of Lower Austria showed that membership is more a privilege than a requirement.

During and following the study tour, Moldovan farmers shared their reflections, highlighting the necessity and potential benefits of establishing Chambers of Agriculture in Moldova. More specifically, the study tour representatives shared the following:

  • Dumitru Orescu from Criuleni district, stated: “Moldovan farmers must take the initial steps towards implementing Agricultural Chambers, as these would bring significant progress by providing support and guidance to farmers and facilitating access to subsidies and funding”;
  • Andrei Dînga, a farmer from Ștefan Vodă, highlighted that he particularly admired the model of Agricultural Chambers in Austria. He emphasized the fact that the Agricultural Chambers they visited are fully supported by mandatory contributions from members; and
  • Ion Balan, another farmer from Cantemir district, remarked: The establishment of Agricultural Chambers in Moldova will certainly generate results, but it will take time. I believe that, despite the challenges ahead, we must initiate this process. It is a mechanism that can bring results for us as well, but it will take time. There should be organized numerous discussions with farmers, so they understand what this mechanism is about and how it operates”.

Overall, the farm representative emphasized the importance of the Chambers of Agriculture in providing guidance, support, and access to resources for agricultural development.

Video source: Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry of the Republic of Moldova (Facebook)

Photo credit: Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry of Moldova