Ina Butucel: There will be no state interference in work of agricultural chambers

The agricultural chambers will be set up according to the “bottom-up” principle and there will be no state interference in the work of these agricultural entities, Ina Butucel, director of the Business Environment and Agriculture Policies Component of the USAID Rural Competitiveness and Resilience Activity, stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency. According to her, the agricultural chambers will have their own board of directors, and the decisions on the distribution of the budget and management will be taken exclusively to the members of the chamber.

The law on the organization and functioning of agricultural chambers was drafted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry with the technical support of the USAID Rural Competitiveness and Resilience Activity in Moldova. Under the bill, ten regional agricultural chambers and the National Agricultural Chamber will be created. The representative of the USAID project assured that the agricultural entities will enjoy full autonomy in their activity.

All the ten chambers, in turn, will delegate representatives to work on the National Agricultural Chamber, which will be an umbrella forum that will coordinate all the ten chambers at the national level and will be a link in the decision-making and public policy making process. In the process of setting up agricultural chambers, the role of the state is only to provide a legal, pertinent framework for the organization of these chambers. The further work, the way in which the relations with its members are established depend on the internal processes. We followed a similar approach in the process of drafting this bill. It is a bottom-up organization principle. The farmers are the ones who come together at the General Assembly to constitute the agricultural chamber, vote the management board, adopt their statutes, internal organization regulations and elect the executive body that will manage the chamber,” said Ina Butucel.

She noted that the executive bodies of each agricultural chamber will decide, by consensus, how to distribute the funds and how to interact with the public authorities. She assured that there will be no pressure from the state on the agricultural entities in the process of making internal decisions.

“Each chamber will have its own budget, which it will distribute according to the decision adopted by the General Assembly. The agricultural chambers will have representatives in those groups, commissions set up by the public authorities, which will also have an impact on the interests of the members of the agricultural chambers. The Agricultural Chamber will be the platform that will provide conditions for permanent dialogue between the public and private sectors, but will not create interference in the work of the chamber. The entire process of managing the chamber will fully be coordinated by its members, who will decide how to organize it internally,” said the representative of the USAID Rural Competitiveness and Resilience Activity.
According to Ina Butucel, the benefits of belonging to one of the ten agricultural chambers will be undeniable. The membership in the agricultural chamber will give farmers the opportunity to benefit from agricultural expertise, information on absorption of European funds and access to new technologies.

“The existing sectoral associations are going to understand the benefits of having such an agricultural chamber because, at the moment, any information or professional consultancy is quite expensive and not all the associations can offer their members access to advanced technologies and practices, while the agricultural chambers will create that platform on which consultancy, information on new technologies will unite. There will be an exchange of experience, of practices. The agricultural chambers are to embrace all those who practice farming and are officially registered, those who want to have access to information, professional practices, access to financing or information how they can access these funds for the development of agricultural businesses,” explained Ina Butucel.

The public debate entitled “Agricultural chambers in the European Union, models for the Republic of Moldova” was the fourth installment of the project “Double integration through cooperation and information. Continuity”, which is funded by the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova. The content of this debate does not represent the official position of the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova.

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