Since 1999, IFAD has invested a total of US$68.9 million in five programmes and projects for an overall cost of US$116.3 million. The overall goal of IFAD's strategy in the country is to reduce poverty by supporting the development of a rural market economy that is based on family-owned and managed on- and off-farm businesses.
In a country where rural credit remains scarce, the main focus of all IFAD-supported projects to date has been the development and provision of carefully tailored rural financial services. In line with the government's priorities to reduce rural poverty through agriculture and rural development, IFAD also provides support to improve the quality of agricultural production and processing to help raise rural people's incomes and generate employment opportunities. The development of family-based agribusinesses is still in the early stages, but it shows considerable potential, particularly for the production of fruit, intensively grown vegetables and livestock.
The specific objectives of IFAD's strategy in the Republic of Moldova are to:
- Establish market linkages by providing support for competitive commodity value chains, market research and development, business development services, producers' associations and promoting international quality standards in production, processing and packaging
- Promote access to a full range of financial services, with particular emphasis on products that support the most vulnerable and poorest people in rural areas.
Among the innovations that the strategy introduces are:
- The piloting and development of new products and delivery mechanisms for rural financial services
- New endeavours to harness remittances and the skills of migrants
- A value chain approach that benefits poor communities and small-scale entrepreneurs.
To strengthen the impact of its initiatives, IFAD includes policy dialogue on issues that are relevant to its mandate and strategic partnerships in its development agenda. The objective is to help poor rural people participate in the benefits of agricultural development and rural economic growth.
Working with the government and other donors and partners, IFAD contributes to the consolidation of a cohesive microfinance strategy in which the country's commercial banks have a crucial role.
Remittances from Moldovan workers abroad, though recently diminished as a result of the global crisis, have an enormous potential as development capital. IFAD, as a member of an international partnership focussed on increasing economic opportunities for the rural poor through support to and development of cost-effective and easily accessible international or domestic remittance services, supports grants for innovative projects through the Financing Facility for Remittances. The aim is to increase access to remittances in rural areas by enabling local financial institutions to offer this service, either directly or as agents of commercial banks and remittance operators.