UNDP and Switzerland support the economic specialization of three micro-regions

December 18, 2023

Three micro-regions continue to benefit from the support of UNDP and Switzerland for economic specialization. Thus, on 18 December, grant certificates were awarded to nine non-governmental organizations that either hold the role of cluster management entities of newly created clusters or are members of these clusters:

  1. Coșnița, Criuleni, Pîrîta, Doroțcaia, and Slobozia-Dușca, specializing in rural tourism -  "Inima Nistrului" cluster;
  2. Nisporeni, Valea Mare, Lozova, Dolna, Micleușeni, Cioara, Ciutești, Bălăurești, and Seliște: cultivation and processing of medicinal and aromatic plants - "Herbafruct" cluster;
  3. Cimișlia, Sadaclia, Ciucur-Mingir, Cenac, Valea Perjei, Hîrtop, Ivanovca Nouă, Gradiște, Abaclia, and Mihailovca: sheep and goat farming, as well as the processing of dairy products and derivatives - "Cimișlia-Basarabeasca" cluster.

Each beneficiary organization will receive $145,000 to implement initiatives strengthening cluster capacities, developing value chains, and promoting competitiveness through innovation. Over 50 local entrepreneurs will benefit from support and 400 jobs will be created or improved.

"The first step towards local development is to discover the ‘hidden jewels’ of a region. These are sectors – or clusters – which have a clear potential for added value creation and growth. In the project ‘Resilient and inclusive markets in Moldova’, we are supporting the development of rural tourism in the Dubăsari region, the valorisation of medicinal and aromatic plants in the area surrounding Nisporeni, and the commercialisation of sheep and goat milk products in the area around Cimișlia," says Guido Beltrani, Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in the Republic of Moldova.

"Setting up an economic cluster means specialisation of local economies, doing better what local people know best, putting together diverse expertise, local perspectives, and shared goals. All these allow for transformative results: decent jobs, growth of local businesses. Switzerland and UNDP will support the piloting of clustering approach  in 3 microregions, with the aim of demonstrating its impact," says Daniela Gasparikova, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.

The clusters - consisting of private, public, and associative entities - were institutionalized in September-October 2023, electing their leadership bodies (president, board of directors, management entity). With mentorship from UNDP, the three clusters have developed roadmaps and set the priorities for the next year.

Due to the obtained grants, processors within the livestock cluster "Cimișlia-Basarabeasca" will benefit from dairy processing equipment and product storage. Additionally, the gene pool of sheep and goat farms will be improved by acquiring more productive animal breeds, while the living and feeding conditions of the animals will be enhanced. Additionally, there are plans to launch a feed production factory and pilot the ecological fertilization using animal waste.

Within the "Herbafruct" micro-cluster, new processing technologies for medicinal and aromatic plants and fruits will be implemented, and the cultivation areas of medicinal and aromatic plants with high added value will be expanded.

The touristic micro-cluster "Heart of Nistru" will benefit from the expansion of accommodation capacity in the region and the creation of new touristic services and entertainment activities. Existing cycling routes will be improved, and beaches will be equipped with urban furniture. The roadmap includes developing a mini-factory for artisanal cheese production and launching a fish restaurant and an adjacent fish farm.

Thus, the clusters receive a total of $435,000 each, supplementing the support initially announced by the "Resilient and inclusive markets in Moldova" project, which was $400,000.

The beneficiary clusters were selected in April 2023 through a public competition.

The “Resilient and inclusive markets in Moldova” project aims at enhancing local economic development and resilience through supporting local entrepreneurship, increased investments, and access to decent work for people, particularly youth, women, people with disabilities, returnees, and refugees, within communities.