The World Bank Offers $15 Million to Support the Agri-Food Sector

The World Bank Offers $15 Million to Support the Agri-Food Sector
31 July 2020 | 17:17

The Board of Directors of the World Bank approved financial support worth $15 million as part of the third additional financing within the Competitive Agriculture in Moldova Project.

The project will support the modernization of the food security system of the country by creating a comprehensive system for the management of animal by-products not intended for food production according to the European Union (EU) standards.

Moldova’s predominantly agricultural economy is substantially dependent on agricultural production and processing of agricultural products in the Europe and Central Asia region. 

Given the importance of the sector, food quality and safety control systems, in line with the EU standards, are essential for the sector’s continued growth, exports, public health, and environmental protection.

“Current methods and trends of animal waste disposal in Moldova are not in line with international best practices and thus result in major risks to health and the environment. 

We hope that this additional funding will stimulate growth in economic activity in the agri-food sector, as improvements in the food safety system will increase the prospects for increased and diversified production in domestic and export markets for dairy products and meat,” said Anna Akhalkatsi, manager for Moldova, World Bank.

In addition to the economic and trade benefits that are essential in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, addressing the remaining issue of safe disposal of animal by-products will generate multiple related environmental and public health benefits, increasing Moldova’s resistance to epidemiological outbreaks of food poisoning in the future.

Since its approval in 2012, the project and related additional funding have strengthened the country’s efforts on export competitiveness, attracting investment and increasing access to premium food export markets by financing investment, supporting institutional development, and integrating the use of good agricultural practices and sustainable land management. The project also provided support to farmers affected by export restrictions on the Russian market, avoiding the collapse of the fruit sector.

In addition to mitigating the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis through contributions to the economic recovery and broader resilience of the agri-food sector, the $15 million financial support will help Moldova contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and establishing more vectors for climate change mitigation, by reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases. This objective will be achieved by diverting animal by-products from waste storage, reducing the use of synthetic nitrogen-based fertilizers, and diverting the use of fossil fuels in generation/cogeneration.

Since the accession of Moldova to the World Bank in 1992, more than $1.3 billion have been allocated for more than 60 operations in the country. 

Currently, the World Bank’s portfolio includes 12 active projects with total commitments amounting to $588.1 million. Areas of support include regulatory framework reform and business development, modernization of government services, tax administration, land registration, education, the road sector, health and the social sector, including the emergency response to COVID-19, agriculture, and the energy sector.

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