Agriculture Key Engine of Growth
While other countries may be worried about potential food shortages, Moldova is ready to provide top quality agricultural and food products not only to Moldovans but to consumers in other countries. As Vasile Bumacov, Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry, explains, “The world’s growing population is like a gift to Moldova. Because of the growing demand for wheat, for example, our wheat farmers are finally making a profit. As agricultural products become more and more necessary in the future, Moldova – once known as the garden of the Soviet Union – will be ready to capitalise on this opportunity. First, however, we must modernise our economy and be more efficient.”
Apples, cherries, peaches, walnuts, plums and prunes, and wine are agricultural products with particularly strong potential in Moldova, Minister Bumacov believes. The Moldovan wine industry, for example, has already been the target of extensive modernisation and its wines meet international standards of quality. Minister Bumacov points out, “Investing in wine grapes is the future for Moldova. Chateau Vartely is playing a key role in Moldova’s agriculture sector by demonstrating the potential of the country’s wine industry. Chateau Vartely produces a variety of world class wines which have already achieved success in international markets. We are passionate about our wines,” says Andrei Hangan, CEO.”
Boosting exports to EU
Moldova has been diversifying its export markets for agricultural products. It still exports around Vasile Bumacov, Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry 80% of its wines and vegetables to CIS countries, but around 50% of its walnuts are exported to France and around half of its prunes are exported to Germany. “We need to increase the variety of products that we export to markets other than Russia. We are focusing on adapting to the EU market,” Minister Bumacov says.
Moldova’s agriculture sector also needs more greenhouses, cold storage facilities, logistics services and food processing plants. Minister Bumacov explains, “We want to boost our wholesale markets and increase our exports of value added agricultural products.”
Moldova’s agriculture sector has received strong support from international funding organisations, including the World Bank, the EBRD and the USAID. Now the sector needs private investment. Minister Bumacov concludes, “Locals cannot do it on their own. The government of Moldova is trying, through new policies and incentives, to attract the right kind of investors. Moldova has the soil and climate to produce high quality agricultural products, and we can double or triple our agricultural revenues with the right support.”