Moldovan farmers go green with organic compostPublished: Jan 12, 2022 Reading time: 2 minutes
In Moldova, People in Need (PIN) has been supporting farmers with the transition to organic products. Now, these farmers have become interested in composting to help avoid the use of chemical fertilisers. Plants grown with organic compost are healthier and can better resist the impacts of climate change, including drought, which is becoming increasingly frequent in Moldova.
Alexei Micu, a farmer from the Moldovan village of Oliscani, began growing organic cereal and fruit on his 500-acre farm in 2015 thanks to a knowledge exchange facilitated by PIN between Micu and Czech farmers. PIN is now working with Micu to introduce composting in Oliscani through the “Going Organic Through Innovation” project.
This initiative, financed by the Small Grants Programme of the Global Environment Facility through UNDP Moldova, is being implemented by PIN in partnership with the Moldova Organic Value Chain Alliance and the Ecoferm Organic Producers’ Cooperative. As part of this project, 15 households in the village have begun collecting organic waste, which is then prepared for composting by a machine donated by PIN. When the compost is ready, it is redistributed to those who helped create it.
Davide Spagnoli, PIN project manager, says: “At first, we had to persuade people to participate, because they didn't believe that they would benefit from the project. Now they collect as much waste as possible, because they understand the benefits of compost. Waste disposal has both economic and environmental costs, and organic waste in rural areas makes up about 50 percent of the total waste. Reusing and valorising it offers excellent opportunities to reduce such costs. Moreover, compost enriches the soil, strengthening it and making it more resilient to climate change.”
Piotr Bernevec, one of the project beneficiaries, collects weeds that have been mown or apples that have fallen from trees, among other organic waste. He is hopeful that the compost will be ready soon. Valeriu Barcari, another beneficiary, collects waste produced by domestic animals and is happy with the compost he has received. Barcari notes: “Using compost leads to visible improvements; even the weeds grow taller, and the corn, too. We don’t need to use chemical fertilisers. We now use only organic material.”
The waste disposal company in Oliscani also benefits from the project. Micu explains: “They want to reduce the amount of trash they have to collect. It is estimated that 30 to 50 percent of garbage can be composted.” In the end, everyone benefits from a cleaner, greener village.
This article was funded by the European Union within 1Planet4All project.