“Moldova Rural LEADER Project” is officially launched — perspectives and opportunities

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  • Rural development
22 September 2020
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Today, during an online event, the “Moldova Rural LEADER Project”, which is a result of a new cooperation process between USAID Moldova, Solidarity Fund PL and Polish Aid, was officially launched.

The new project, with a total budget of USD 3,000,000.00, pursues the implementation and promotion of the LEADER approach in the rural areas of the Republic of Moldova, through diverse local development opportunities, as well as through the implementation of local micro-projects.

The LEADER approach is an European instrument, implemented in the country since 2016. There are many partners that contribute to this process, including from the EU, Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment (MARDE), local communities, public authorities, and implementation partners. Thanks to the active involvement of the local actors and to the gained results, MARDE started the process of creation of the legal framework for financing the Local Action Groups from government sources.

The “Moldova Rural LEADER Project” is a new component of the development process, that will help identify and value the local resources in micro-regions, and will support the Local Action Groups that are active on the country’s territory, and will also contribute to the creation of at least 16 LAGs. Additionally, 70% from the budget will be directed for financing local projects that will improve the rural economy.

Bartłomiej Zdaniuk, the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the Republic of Moldova  declared that the biggest success of the LEADER approach and of the Local Action Groups was that the inhabitants of those areas have regained their optimism to continue their already launched family businesses. “The collaboration with the United States of America is an immense honour and acknowledgement of the past years undertaken efforts by Poland and Solidarity Fund PL in Moldova. The LEADER approach represents a European instrument that proved its efficiency in developing the possibilities of the local authorities, but also in the domain of entrepreneurship by supporting the small and medium businesses, and this is proven to be the key to success.

Scott Hocklander – Director of the USAID Mission in Moldova declared that through common efforts, the “Moldova Rural LEADER Project” is a part of a success story. “The partnership of the Government of the United States and the Government of the Republic of Poland is a very important one and valuable to the implementation of the LEADER approach, and the success stories in the local development and the opportunities at the local level confirm the fact that this activity has to continue. USAID is interested in supporting this program, because the LEADER approach has to encourage the citizens to solve the problems at the local level and invest in the development of the communities they live in.” Additionally, Scott Hocklander has emphasised the importance of the involvement of MARDE, so that the LEADER approach is institutionalised and supported from the state budget.

Dorin Andros, State Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment has confirmed the state support in the process of the implementation of the LEADER approach in the Republic of Moldova. “Together with Solidarity Fund PL in Moldova, we managed this year to elaborate and promote in the Parliament the legislative initiative that will offer the possibility to support the Local Action Groups, while those 5% from the Subsides to Agriculture Fund will contribute to the implementation of certain projects.

Aleksandra Jarosiewicz, Executive Director of Solidarity Fund PL, has expressed her gratitude for the constant support from the project partners — USAID, Polish Aid and MARDE, emphasising that by cooperating, we will assure the durability of the project, and other important changes will start from the very roots.

Elena Reoneac – manager of “Lunca Bicului” LAG spoke about her experience of the LAG creation process. The Local Action Group is a real pillar of support for those that want to make something at home. In 2019, we have successfully implemented 12 projects, and the happiest thing is that the people started trusting themselves and come up with new initiatives.

Alexandru Sirbu, member of the “Valea Cuboltei” LAG: “I have expressed, from the very beginning, my desire to write projects and to be involved in the LAG’s activity. Even though the projects are small, they have a huge impact on the locality. I advise everyone to benefit from such opportunities offered by the LAG”.

The project consists of four (grouped) cluster-activities:

  • LEADER Inception — the creation of 16 LAGs;
  • LEADER Advancers — the support offered to the local development projects in partnership with approx. 12 LAGs;
  • LEADER Innovators — piloting innovative instruments for the local economic development;
  • LEADER Knowledge — the analysis of the development impact.

The “Moldova Rural LEADER Project” is financed by USAID Moldova and Polish Aid, implemented by Solidarity Fund PL in Moldova and the National LEADER Network in the Republic of Moldova. Strategic partner — Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment.


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