Financing for young farmers in the Republic of Moldova

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Financing for young farmers in the Republic of Moldova

©IFAD/Susan Beccio

Young women and men in rural areas of the Republic of Moldova are making good use of advantageous credit lines and other benefits offered by an IFADsupported project. Nineteen-year-old Anastasia Gilca is one of more than 700 women who have taken out a loan. She now runs her own profitable 3-hectare blackberry plantation. Following advice from her mother, Gilca started her business two years ago.

When she heard about the youth entrepreneurship scheme run by the Rural Financial Services and Agribusiness Development Project, she signed up for training in business development, financial management and accounting.

With her first loan, Gilca bought and installed a drip irrigation system, which doubled her harvest and increased her income. Today, this impressive young woman employs six people and owns her own tractor, cultivator and cutter. She also leases a refrigerated vehicle to transport fresh berries to Chisinau, the capital city, where she sells her produce to international chain stores and wholesalers – including Linella, Fourchette and Metro.

During the blackberry season from June to September, 1 kilogram of berries sells for 40-60 Moldovan Leu (US$2-US$3). Gilca’s next goal is to expand her farm, planting an additional 6 hectares with blackberry bushes and growing from smallholder to commercial size. She also plans to buy a refrigerated truck and to design her own brand name, logo and packaging.

“Anyone who wants to set up a business on their own must be determined,” Gilca says. “You must be hard-working, and you cannot allow potential risks or negative responses from people to demoralize you.”

Ambitious young farmer Anastasia Gilca prepares her blackberries to be transported to market Republic of Moldova: Rural Financial Services and Agribusiness Development Project ©IFAD/Igor Spivacenco

In 2015, the project won an IFAD Gender Award in recognition of its work to empower women. Although women make up only 35 per cent of the people taking loans, most of the trainees in financial management, business entrepreneurship and production technologies for vegetables and livestock are young women. In addition, women’s enterprises are achieving better results than those of their male counterparts in terms of profitability and asset accumulation. Increasing numbers of women are decision makers in local public governing bodies, and several are now managing irrigation schemes.

This story was originally published in IFAD's 2015 Annual Report