Going organic through innovation

Characteristics:

Area:

Cuhurestii de Sus (Floresti), Ghindesti (Floresti), Oliscani (Soldanesti), Vascauti (Florești), Cosauti (Soroca) și Navirnet (Fălești).

Beneficiary:

AO Reprezentanta in Republica Moldova a Organizației People in Need din Republica Ceha

Main field:

Agroecology

Period:

2021.02.10 - 2022.02.10

Grant amount:

50 000 $

Statute:

In procces

The proposed project focuses on promoting sustainable management of agricultural land in order to increase farmers’ resilience to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through promotion techniques of integrated agriculture. The project is implemented together with Organic Farmer’s Cooperative -”Ecoferm”, the first cooperative of organic farmers, comprised of 6 members, recently established through PIN initiative, and Moldova Organic Value Chain
Alliance – MOVCA, the only association of ecologically certified farmers in the country, bringing together 34 members to promote innovation and provides added value services to organic farmers. The project will be implemented in 6 village communities where Ecoferm members are active and are able to play a key role in the implementation process and ensuring the long-term sustainability: Cuhurestii de Sus (Floresti), Ghindesti (Floresti), Oliscani (Soldanesti), Vascauti
(Floresti), Cosauti (Soroca) and Navirnet (Falesti). The needs assessment and community profiling (Annex 2) performed by PIN in December 2019 has identified a series of common challenges, with the intervention planning to address the following:
• Unsustainable agricultural practices including land and soil fertility management leading to loss of organic matter, erosion and decline of the yields of crops.
According to an UNECE report2: “soil degradation is estimated to cost Moldova’s economy US$ 239 million/year, with the poorest subsistence farming households being most affected”.
• Inadequate animal manure management, mainly storage and handling resulting in soil, water and air pollution, nutrient losses and contributing to increased CHG emissions.
• Poor organic waste management - burning crop residues and other vegetal material, illegal waste dumps, leading both to wasting of useful resources and to air, water, and soil pollution.
• Overuse or underuse of fertilizers, or excessive use of chemicals and pesticides. While big farmers tend to overuse fertilizers, leading to soil and water acidification, contamination of water sources and increased greenhouse emissions, small farmers underuse fertilizers, exhausting soil nutrients and leading to soil degradation and declining yields. According to the same UNDP study mentioned above “Most farmers lack basic knowledge of the life cycle of major
pests of their crops, and there is an over- reliance of pesticides, leading inevitably to their excessive use. Biological control strategies are rather an abnormality than a rule in the Moldovan agriculture.”
These are mostly caused by lack of knowledge and skills on performing integrated agriculture (including lack of qualified workforce identified as a problem in all communities), access to inputs (including the decreased tendency in livestock farming, resulting in a decrease of manure available), technologies, and finance (with over 90% of households in the targeted communities doing subsistence agriculture and with all communities identifying the access to markets as one
of the main challenges in generating income from agriculture).