Rural Development – The LEADER approach
Rural development is a priority for our organization. Together with active people from local communities and development partners, we implement programs that improve the quality of life in rural areas, the emergence of new local services that meet the needs of rural residents, the creation of new jobs etc.
Thus, we adopt good European practices to the local context to stimulate the development of the economy in rural communities and community mobilization.
RURAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH LEADER
Since 2016, through the LEADER approach, we support the development of the economy of villages based on existing local resources. Within the implementation of this approach, we support the following:
Activating people in local communities by supporting the creation, formalization and operation of Local Action Groups (LAGs) – the main “engine” of this approach. LAGs are institutional partnerships between representatives of the entrepreneurial, public and civic sectors that manage local development processes. When the approach was first piloted, together with other development partners, we supported the creation of LAGs in several villages and financed their activity.
Today, the LEADER approach in the Republic of Moldova supports 32 LAGs, covering over 35% of the country’s rural areas. Based on the Local Development Strategy (SDL), the LAGs have implemented approximately 700 local micro-projects aimed at developing small businesses, improving local infrastructure, creating missing products and services in villages, etc. Thanks to the micro-projects implemented through the LEADER approach, 402 new jobs were created in rural areas in the Republic of Moldova. Most jobs (228) were created in the entrepreneurial sector, the rest being concentrated in the civic and public sectors. At the same time, these local micro-projects motivated several individuals who received funding to register their businesses.
Support in the creation and consolidation of the National LEADER Network of the Republic of Moldova (RNL) as guarantor of the process. The network brings together and represents the LAGs of the Republic of Moldova establishing partnerships locally, nationally, and internationally. At the moment, the National LEADER Network of the Republic of Moldova ensures the extension of the LEADER approach in the country by creating new LAGs, creating favouring conditions for the interaction and development of LAGs. By 2022, the number of LAGs is set to increase, providing coverage of about 70% of rural localities.
Starting with April 2019, RNL is part of the European Association for Rural Development LEADER (ELARD). We continue to support the institutional development and strengthening of the network that will ensure compliance with the quality level of all LEADER processes and their sustainability over time.
Cooperation with public institutions. The sustainability of the LAGs and the continuity of the proposed solutions are the foundation of our vision for rural development. Together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment of the Republic of Moldova (MADRM) we have strengthened our efforts to ensure a sustainable partnership in support of rural communities. In June 2020, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in implementing the LEADER approach in the Republic of Moldova.
In April 2020, several amendments to the legislation of the Republic of Moldova entered into force, which allow the Local Action Groups of the country to be financed from public sources – from the National Fund for Agricultural Development and Rural Environment. Thus, the Republic of Moldova is the first non-EU country that aims to finance LAGs from the state budget, by implementing the LEADER Program as a tool of public rural development policy.
Currently, MADRM in partnership with RNL is developing the legal and operational framework for the LEADER Program. In March 2021, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova passed in the first reading the Draft Law on Local Action Groups. This law will make possible the implementation of the amendments made in 2020 and the implementation of the LEADER Program financed from public sources – from the National Fund for Agricultural Development and Rural Environment.
The implementation of the LEADER approach in the Republic of Moldova is supported by the European Union, Polish Aid and USAID.
You can also read more about the LEADER approach in the Republic of Moldova and LAGs on the website of the National LEADER Network of the Republic of Moldova.
LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Within the local economic development unit, we implement other actions meant to contribute to the development of villages. We are constantly looking for new economic tools that can contribute to the development of rural entrepreneurship, promoting role models for local communities, identifying and consolidating local economic sectors or products, bringing innovation to villages through LAGs etc. Thus, by piloting programs, we test various tools that, if proved successful, are scaled-up.
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in Republic of Moldova