The year 2023 is predicted to be a complicated one for the inhabitants of the Republic of Moldova. The severe drought, the energy crisis and the war in Ukraine have had a strong impact on the agri-food sector.
According to FAO experts, cereal production in 2022 is estimated to be more than 45% below the average of the last five years, with maize being the most affected. Production of oilseeds and pulses is also expected to decline considerably, by 26% and 45% respectively. In the most drought-affected areas, livestock feed will likely be insufficient to adequately feed livestock by spring 2023.
Even so, FAO experts say some of the negative effects can be mitigated by a combination of short-term emergency interventions.
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“Moldova’s agricultural sector is affected by the war in Ukraine, and the stress it is under is amplified by the severe drought that has hit the country. With this data available from the assessment, we must ensure that no one is left behind and count on the support of donors to support small vulnerable producers and continue to help Moldova develop a resilient, sustainable and green agri-food system,” he said Raimund Jehle, FAO Representative in the Republic of Moldova.
The FAO mission points out that there are risks to the upcoming harvest season. Persistent moisture deficits in the lower soil layers across the country can have a negative impact on the performance of the sector. Prices and availability of fertilizers and plant protection products remain a challenge, while interest rates on bank loans could remain at very high levels next year.
To minimize the effects, FAO has identified support needs for the sector, consisting of urgent short-term support actions to secure the next harvest season and extending incentives for the application of climate change adaptation technologies and practices, improving the agricultural information system with drought early warning statistics and data, integration of smallholder farmers into the marketing system.