On 14 November, the Independent Office of Evaluation organized in Chisinau a national roundtable workshop for the Moldova country programme evaluation (CPE), with the support of the Government of Moldova and the Near East, North Africa and Europe Division of IFAD.
This was the first country programme evaluation in Moldova since the Fund started its operations in the country in 1999. Recommendations from this CPE will guide the preparation of the third country strategic opportunities programme (COSOP) for Moldova.
The objectives of the Moldova CPE national roundtable workshop were to:
- highlight the key issues emerging from the CPE;
- provide inputs for the preparation of the evaluation's agreement at completion point; and
- brainstorm and reflect on the main aspects and priority areas for the forthcoming Moldova COSOP.
The workshop was attended by close to 70 people, including the Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry, who delivered an opening statement, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, and Food Industry , representatives from other government agencies (including the Ministry of Finance, State Chancellery, Agency of Interventions and Payment for Agriculture), financial institutions (banks, savings and credit associations); service providers, agricultural/rural enterprises, farmers organizations and beneficiaries.
The IFAD delegation undertook a field visit on 13 November 2013, to selected project activities in the north-west of Chisinau.
The key issues that were raised during the workshop ( in plenary and groups) included: the importance of the technical support (as well as access to finance) to enterprises, especially start-ups, the youth and women; the need to increase competitiveness (also in view of the aspiration to expand into the European markets); promotion of high-value agriculture; the potential of microfinance services (notably by SCAs) to serve the poor, but at the same time the need for more efficiency in microfinance service provision; and well-selected rural infrastructure sub-projects being effective ways to stimulate rural economic activities and reach broader population. Relating to the point about competitiveness and efficiency in value chains, the issues of the farmer associations, as well as land consolidations were also raised.
In general, from the remarks by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry as well as other participants, the appreciation by in-country stakeholders and partners for the IFAD support in Moldova, described as ‘one of the most successful agricultural development programmes in Moldova, was evident.