Moldova receives $15 million package to modernise food safety system
The World Bank has provided the funding package in a bid to improve Moldova’s management of animal by-products and in turn boost export opportunities.
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors have approved a financing package of $15 million to the Republic of Moldova for the Third Additional Financing for the Moldova Agriculture Competitiveness Project (MACP). The funding aims to support the modernisation of the country’s food safety system by establishing a comprehensive, EU standards-compliant system for the management of animal by-products unintended for food production.
Moldova’s predominantly agriculture-based economy relies heavily on agricultural production and agri-processing in Europe and Central Asia region. Given the prominence of the sector, EU standards-compliant food safety and quality control systems are said to be essential for the continuous growth of the sector, exports, public health considerations and environmental protection.
“The current methods and patterns of disposal of animal waste in Moldova are not compliant with international best practices and thus result in significant public health and environmental risks,” said Anna Akhalkatsi, World Bank Country Manager for Moldova. “We hope that this Additional Financing will serve as a stimulus for increased economic activity in the agriculture and food sectors, as improvements in food safety will broaden prospects for increased and more diversified production both for domestic and export markets of dairy, meat and derivative products.”
In addition to economic and trade benefits, addressing the lagging topic of safe disposal of animal by-products aims to have multiple beneficial externalities for the environment and public health considerations, enhancing Moldova’s resilience in the face of foodborne disease outbreaks in future.
Since its approval in 2012, MACP and its Additional Financings have helped Moldova’s efforts in strengthening export competitiveness, attracting investment and enhancing access to premium food export markets through investment financing, institutional development support, and efforts to mainstream the use of good agricultural practices and sustainable land management. The project is also said to have supported farmers affected by export restrictions on the Russian market avoiding the collapse of the fruit growing sector.
In addition to addressing the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis through its contribution to the broader economic recovery and resilience of the agri-food sector, the Third Additional Financing has set out to help Moldova contribute to reductions of greenhouse gases and establish several vectors for climate change mitigation through reduced generation and emission of greenhouse gases. This will be achieved by diverting animal by-products from landfills, reducing application of nitrogen-based synthetic fertilisers and diverting use of fossil-based fuels in generation/cogeneration.