Nicolae Ciubuc: Limited access to European funds is one of problems that prevent us from becoming competitive

The Moldovan farmers need larger funds for being competitive and for diversifying the export markets, ex-minister of agriculture, regional development and environment Nicolae Ciubuc stated in a public debate hosted by IPN.

According to him, the farmers in Moldova benefit from very low subsidies for developing the agricultural sector even compared with their counterparts from Romania. The Moldovan farmers face problems related to competitiveness as they cannot access new markets. “The limited access to European funds is one of the problems that prevent us from becoming competitive. We have only national agriculture subsidization funds available. This is what was planned in the state budget, which is 1.5 billion lei. The EU fund for the 2023-2027 program envisions about €400 billion,” stated Nicolae Ciubuc.

Giving Romania as example, the ex-minister said that the European injections in the Romanian agricultural sector come to €3 billion a year. “A farmer from Romania receives both direct payments per hectare, at least €170 per ha, and also other benefits. If you are a young farmer, you get another €100 and so on. These are very large sums. We are hopeful that we will also form part of this program at a certain moment. Our farmers are in an inequitable position,” noted Nicolae Ciubuc.

He said that the high production costs are another problem faced by the Moldovan farmers, which needs to be dealt with. The stimulation of competitiveness was always a goal of the sector development policies. This can be done by attracting investment, by developing sorts. It is hard to attract investment to agriculture. “The state, together with the partners, should determine the impediments to investment in agriculture and should intervene. There are many obstacles, like political instability, lack of funds and lack of export markets. We, as a third country, have only one free trade agreement. All these elements should be analyzed and solutions should be identified,” said the ex-minister.

He also said that society should ask what they deserve from the authorities. “Communication is necessary to ensure high-value agriculture, alongside assumed actions, supervision and more demands on the part of the NGO sector. If there is cooperation and demand on the part of civil society, the relationship becomes much more efficient. We should react promptly every time,” stated Nicolae Ciubuc.

The public debate entitled “EPC Summit – opportunities opened up for high-value agriculture and export of Moldovan products” was the eighth installment of IPN’s project “Support for European Integration by stimulating discussion in the mass media about the European Political Community (EPC) Summit” that is supported by Soros Foundation Moldova.

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