Farmers on the banks of the Dniester River in Moldova can now benefit from professional advice from the Organic Farming Consultancy Centre, established with EU support. The centre was created at the initiative of four specialised associations on the right and left bank of the Dniester River, within the framework of the EU-funded ‘Support to Confidence-Building Measures’ programme, implemented by the UNDP.
The centre operates in the village of Sucleia and provides free consultations not only to agricultural producers but also to small farmers. Its specialists promote the reduction or minimisation of fertilisers and pesticides, respect for cropping, implementation of modern technologies in agriculture, etc. At the same time, farmers can find information on the possibilities of accessing grants and funds for business development in organic farming.
The idea to create this centre comes from a project involving four associations on both sides of the Dniester River - "Cutezătorul" and "EcoAgriNord" in the town of Falesti, "Vitality" from Tiraspol and "Belii Most" in the village of Chiţcani in the Slobozia district. The four organisations have created a common platform for cooperation in the field of organic farming, the first step being the establishment of an Association of Producers of Ecological and Quality Products.
According to the President of the "Vitality" Association, Veaceslav Bejenari, at this stage, the main aim of the centre is to convince producers that organic fruit and vegetables offer access to new markets: "During 2017 we also created three demonstration lots in which we cultivated corn, sunflower and strawberries. Farmers who have visited them have been convinced of the benefits of applying environmentally friendly technologies - soil processing without the involvement of chemicals."
Victor Cimpoies, the director of the "Cutezătorul" association, is of the opinion that farmers on both banks of the Dniester have the capacity to produce ecologically pure fruits and vegetables. "By respecting this condition, our production will be able to impose itself on the big outlets," he said.
The project also includes training programmes to assist farmers in producing, certifying, initiating agricultural businesses, and marketing products.
The Ecological Farming Consultancy Centre was created within the framework of the ‘Support to Confidence-Building Measures’ programme, funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP Moldova. The programme contributes to the consolidation of trust between the people on both banks of the Dniester River through their involvement in joint projects involving representatives of the business community, local community leaders, or civil society.