Czech Development Agency invests €425,000 in the modernisation of the dairy sector of the Republic of MoldovaPublished: Oct 25, 2022 Reading time: 3 minutes
Since independence, less and less milk has been produced in Moldova every year. Statistics show that milk production has declined over the last thirty years from 1,500 thousand tonnes in 1991 to 265 thousand tonnes in 2021. To support such a key sector of the domestic economy, we implemented a new project called Modernising, Innovating, and Leveraging Knowledge for the Moldovan Dairy Sector.
At the same time, the number of milk producers and cattle is steadily decreasing. According to small farmers, the decline in the volume and quality of milk supply to the market is because of difficulties within the milk production process, quality control, veterinary services for animals and coordination of market players.
To reverse these trends and support the milk production sector—which is of strategic importance for the Republic of Moldova—People in Need (PIN), with financial support from the Czech Development Agency, has launched the MILK project. Its objective is to improve the economic conditions for small and medium-sized cattle farmers in Moldova by strengthening the dairy sector’s efficiency and value chain. MILK will be implemented in the northern districts because, according to the project's manager Octavian Olaru, 50 % of the total milk produced in the country is produced there.
Diary sector is crucial for domestic economy
The launch event—which took place at a cattle farm in the Funduri Vechi village, Glodeni district—hosted small and medium size farmers, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, the National Agency for Food Safety, the Association of Milk Producers, milk collection centres, veterinarians, and processors.
The Czech Ambassador to Moldova, Stanislav Kázecký, praised the importance of the project in supporting the agricultural sector. "We want to continue to be present in Moldova and provide support for the livestock sector. I hope that, through the MILK project, you will manage to increase the efficiency and profit of your business," he said.
Petr Drbohlav, PIN regional director for Eastern Europe and the Balkans, describes the agricultural sector as a priority because it provides most jobs in rural areas. "The dairy sector is a new one for us, but it has great potential for development. We hope that the support we provide will help transfer the "know-how" from one country to another. We aim at learning from experiences in other countries that have gone through similar transformations," he notes.
According to Octavian Olaru, the project's actions will focus on increasing the income of small and medium-sized farmers by strengthening the milk value chain in the north of Moldova, applying a modern approach to developing market systems, and harnessing the knowledge and potential of experts from the Czech Republic and Moldova.
Modernising, Innovating, and Leveraging Knowledge
In the project's first phase, the beneficiaries will be 120 small farmers—milk producers—and representatives of four collection centres. "80 per cent of all milk in the Republic of Moldova is produced by households, which is why we will focus on small farmers. Similarly, collection centres are the key point through which milk is collected, which eventually reaches the processor and then the consumer's table," the MILK manager said.
Likewise, a regional platform for coordinating milk sector activities will be created. Also, study visits abroad to milk sector entities will be organised for dairy processors, government representatives and other stakeholders. At the same time, case studies and information materials will be developed and disseminated.
Meanwhile, the project aims to facilitate farmers' access to veterinary assistance, pasture and quality fodder, training services, and a pilot project on best practices in cattle nutrition. The project will also run an information campaign targeting cattle farmers on good dairy farming practices.