On Friday Moldova signed a compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), making it the 20th country to receive innovative development financing from the MCC. The five-year, $262 million Compact will focus on irrigation infrastructure, high-value agricultural production, and road rehabilitation. As the MCC notes, Moldova is the poorest country in Europe, and relies heavily on farming which employs 40 percent of the population and accounts for 17 percent of their GDP.
Investment in the transportation, infrastructure, and agriculture sectors will enable Moldova to make the most of their agricultural production and use it to enhance economic growth. The high-value agriculture project is intended to increase production of and marketing opportunities for lucrative produce like fruits and vegetables. This project could help increase farmers’ incomes and generate opportunities in Moldova’s rural areas. Farmers could also benefit from improved access to credit as well as a technical assistance scheme co-financed by USAID, which will help farmers transition to higher-value agriculture, post-harvest processing, storage, and marketing.
The irrigation project is slated to repair 11 large irrigation systems which irrigate 15,500 hectares of land, while the road rehabilitation project includes repairs to a 93 kilometer stretch of highway that is a key link for passenger travel as well as trade.
Moldova previously completed an MCC Threshold program in which they focused on combating corruption in the country. As MCC CEO Daniel Yohannes mentioned, “I commend Moldova’s commitment to poverty reduction and economic development opportunities. Moldova’s MCC threshold program has already created an environment where innovative technologies, productivity, and increased access to markets can flourish. Now, with this Compact, MCC looks forward to deepening our partnership with the people of Moldova to foster long-term economic growth.”
Moldovan Prime Minister Filat commented that the Compact will greatly assist Moldova in moving from a difficult past towards a successful future.