Vladimir Bolea: World Bank offers US$25m for restoring irrigation systems

The Republic of Moldova borrows US$25 million for rehabilitating the national irrigation systems. The lending agreement will be signed by the World Bank and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry on May 10. Minister Vladimir Bolea said the authorities are obliged to invest in irrigation systems as the drought became a normal phenomenon in Moldova, IPN reports.

The minister of agriculture said the state of winter crops inspires optimism, but it is premature to speak about a good agricultural year. “We visited all the districts of the Republic of Moldova. The state of the winter crops is satisfactory to good. The latest precipitation reduced the shortage of moisture. We are analyzing the consequences of the recent frost. In northern Moldova, the orchards haven’t blossomed yet. The frost probably affected the blossoming orchards in southern and central Moldova. Next week, we will have a meeting with agricultural division heads who will depict the situation,” Vladimir Bolea stated in the program “Good Evening” on the public TV channel.

In the same connection, the official noted that the extreme weather events became something normal in Moldova and the state is therefore obliged to look for solutions to protect the crop fields, primarily from drought.

“Earlier, the Republic of Moldova experienced drought once in five years, but now drought occurs once in two years. Therefore, we took the decision to invest massively in irrigation systems. On May 10, the Ministry of Agriculture will sign a US$55 million loan garment with the World Bank and US$25 million of this amount will go to restore the irrigation systems. We have advanced discussions with the French Investment Agency and plan to get €40 million also for irrigation systems. This year alone we will invest €65 million in irrigation systems,” stated Vladimir Bolea.

The minister said the state will offer significant support if the farmers decide to invest in the modernization of an agricultural system.

“The funds for irrigation will be distributed in a very transparent way, through the Agency for Intervention and Payments in Agriculture and the Agency for Agriculture Development and Modernization. The farmers are familiar with these instruments. We will decide the percentage of farmers’ contribution, but I think it will be symbolical. Given the importance of restoring the irrigation systems and the poor financial situation of farmers, I think the state’s contribution will be considerable,” noted the minister.

Currently, the irrigated farmland in Moldova represents only 60,000 ha of the total 2 million ha of farmland.

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