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17-11-2023

Development cooperation project in Moldova is successfully completed

Since May 2023 the National Paying Agency (NPA) is implementing the project Agriculture and rural development in Moldova and Georgia – strengthening administrative and institutional capacities in the field of European integration”. The project is carried out financed by the Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid Fund.  The first half of the project, devoted to sharing NPA‘s accession know-how in the area of agriculture and rural development with their colleagues in Moldova, has been successfully completed.

 

Project partners in Moldova included the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI) and the Moldovan Agency for Interventions and Payments in Agriculture (AIPA). Six missions of Lithuanian experts from NPA took place in Chisinau, Moldova, starting with May 2023. During these missions, NPA representatives shared experience with their colleagues on various topics relevant to Moldova in the area of agriculture and rural development, aiming to speed up the country‘s eurointegration process.

 

The first mission was dedicated to the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and its legislation, main principles of the ongoing CAP reform and Lithuanian Strategic Plan for Agriculture and Rural Development 2023-2027, highlighting the similarities and differences between the Plan and the Lithuanian Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. The next missions were focusing on risk assessment and fraud prevention issues in line with the EU regulations; on corruption prevention, transparency and protection of personal data. The topics of the following missions included the issues on strategic planning and reporting methodology following the EU requirements; IT systems, data bases for management of the EU and national support; on-the-spot checks and monitoring issues following the CAP requirements. The working meetings targeted also at the gaps and problems, faced by MAFI and AIPA, the Lithuanian experts proposed a series of relevant solutions and recommendations.

 

In September a study visit of the MAFI and AIPA delegation took place in Lithuania within the framework of the project. Following the 5-day programme, representatives of MAFI and AIPA visited the NPA and its  regional unit, where they got acquainted with the practical issues of the EU support administration. Moldovans also visited the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Business and Market Development Agency, Lithuanian Agricultural Advisory Service, EKOAGROS, Agricultural Data Centre. The Moldovan delegation familiarised themselves with the organisational structure, goals and functions of the above-mentioned institutions, with the challenges the institutions face and their solutions. The delegation also visited the farms of the Lithuanian farmers who received EU support, got acquainted with the projects implemented by the local action groups (LAG) and their future plans.

 

The Moldovan officials both from MAFI and AIPA expressed their sincere appreciation for the work performed by the Lithuanian representatives from the NPA, Lithuania. They noted that the expertise gained from NPA will significantly contribute to building up a transparent, effective and efficient administration of development funds and will become yet another step forward in the European integration process of Moldova. It is expected that the collaboration between the NPA and relevant institutions in Moldova will continue next year in a new project.

 

In the meantime activities within the project funded by the Development Cooperation Programme will carry on – it will commence in Georgia as of December this year.