FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Moldova fights back against pests

Competition between farmers and pests has been fierce in Moldova.

As pests and diseases continued to affect agriculture, it became clear that farmers lacked the knowledge and capacity in crop and pest management to prevent and manage outbreaks.

In response, FAO and Moldova’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry recently launched a two-year project to support the introduction of Integrated Pest Management in Moldova.

The project will focus on farmers and staff training and education, the adoption and promotion of conservation agriculture -a set of soil management practices that minimize the disruption of the soils structure, composition, and natural biodiversity- and the establishment of Integrated Pest Management techniques using activities such as Farmer Field Schools.

With seventy-five percent of the population in Moldova earning their livelihoods from agriculture-related activities, pest outbreaks have not only caused significant economic hardship but have also created uncertainty about the country’s future agricultural development.

“We truly believe that this project is going to help turn things around,” said Avetik Nersisyan, FAO plant production and protection officer and lead technical officer for the project. “The thought is that through developing farmers’ knowledge of the application of efficient plant protection measures, such as Integrated Pest Management, we can considerably increase food production.” 

Integrated Pest Management carefully considers all available pest control techniques and integrates appropriate measures to discourage development of pest populations. It aims to keep pesticide use to levels that are economically justified and minimize risks to human health and the environment. It emphasizes the growth of a healthy crop and the least possible damage to agro-ecosystems by encouraging natural pest control measures.  

At the inception workshop in Chisinau last week, more than 40 participants worked to produce the final project plan and select the main implementing partners. The National Agency for Rural Development  was selected to organize the Farmer Field Schools, and two Research Institutes – the Institute of Plant Protection and Ecological Agriculture and the Institute of Cereal and Field Crops “Selectia” – were proposed to create pilot sites for Integrated Pest Management and Conservation Agriculture.

21 May 2015, Chisinau, Moldova

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