Smallholder farmers affected by the impacts of the war in Ukraine will receive support from the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), FAO, and UNDP

October 4, 2022

More than 8,000 farmers from the Republic of Moldova whose activity is affected by the impacts of the war in Ukraine will be helped to overcome the consequences and build resilience in the face of crises.

With this purpose, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), commenced a project to be implemented by 2024 with a total budget of two million euros, financed by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) through the Moldova 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Partnerships Trust Fund.

The project "Emergency support for agri-producers in the context of socio-economic, climate and energy crisis" targets small-scale producers, in particularly women-led farms and young people. The beneficiaries are identified based on the economic deprivation and drought vulnerability indexes.

Seed distribution, informational support and improvement of production capacities of smallholder farmers

More than seven thousand small farmers will receive agricultural inputs, including seeds, seedlings and feed and fodders for animals, thus supporting the spring and autumn planting works as well as the livestock sector. Based on FAOs’ previous experience in offering emergency support for small farmers worth half a million US dollars, FAO, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, will coordinate the agricultural inputs procurement, distribution and monitoring mechanism, for a fair and transparent process.

Farmers will also be helped to apply innovative practices in agriculture to better withstand climate and economic crises. A series of informational materials and guides for correct management of the production process at all levels will be developed and distributed along with the agricultural inputs. To ensure the transfer of knowledge and the continuous development of farmers' capacities, the project will finance the establishment of Farmer Field Schools at local level.

Grants for the transition to renewable energy sources and use of energy-efficient technologies

Women entrepreneurs will be encouraged to implement renewable energy transition solutions and apply energy efficient technologies. The project will offer, through the UNDP, 30 grants for the implementation of the initiatives. In addition to the non-refundable financial aid, women entrepreneurs will also benefit from a complex capacity development program. This measure will support the long-term socio-economic recovery, energy security and energy transition of women-led businesses in rural areas.

Training and consultancy in the application of sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural practices

The project aims to develop also the capacities of local environmental NGOs. 15 NGOs representatives will benefit from an intensive training program supported by UNDP and will subsequently become local trainers for 1000 small farmers. Thus, farmers will have the opportunity to make their economic activity more efficient by applying adaptation measures to climate change. Likewise, to promote sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural practices, a database of women entrepreneurs in the agricultural field will be created in the project's beneficiary localities and Women's Clubs will be formed to strengthen their capacities and promote good practices.

According to the estimates of the Government of the Republic of Moldova, the war in Ukraine could cost the economy of the Republic of Moldova 2-10% of the country's total GDP, depending on the duration, intensity, and territorial coverage. At the same time, 70% of small farms already suffer from lack of resources, inputs, and arid weather conditions.