Decent Rural Employment

FAO Moldova supports returning migrant workers and remittance-funded businesses in increasing their capacity to market agricultural products online


February 1, 2022, Chisinau - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is supporting smallholder farmers in the Republic of Moldova through delivery of technical workshops in adopting digital tools and technologies meant to enhance their access to markets and increase sales of their agricultural products.

The series of capacity building activities was warranted by the findings of the feasibility study on the development of the online platform for sales of agricultural products, which highlighted the importance to develop skills in relation to the presentation and online marketing of products.

To this end, four workshops were organized in December 2021 at the Chisinau Academy of Media Arts, which gathered close to 40 business owners of agricultural products, half of them being returned migrant workers or heads of households with businesses partially or fully funded by remittances and/or money earned abroad.

Participants were trained on how to create engaging media content, with a focus on product photography (fruits, vegetables, berries; cereal products and bakery; beekeeping and floriculture; packaged and processed agricultural products), and on how to effectively promote their products online. Moreover, they were encouraged to bring samples of their products and, under the trainer’s guidance, carried out product photo sessions. The product photography course was complemented by a module on copywriting ads for social networks.

Ms. Elena Gorgan, a returned migrant worker, owns a beekeeping business and grows aromatic herbs and has shared her workshop experience: "My participation in the workshop has been a stepping stone for the business I own. What I have learned in a day is usually learned in a couple of months. I became accustomed with new tools to help me take good pictures of my products I want to market online. In the past, I thought it was easy taking a picture and marketing a product, but now I have completely changed my mind. Behind good photos, there is always an intricate level of detail, good planning, ingenuity, patience and engagement. My work entails a direct connection with nature, thus this workshop has taught me new things, for example, that the best pictures are taken at sunset and in cloudy weather, which I have already put to practice and found it to be very useful."

Ms. Daniela Caisin owns a dried-fruits business financed from remittances and has also shared her account and overall impressions of the media workshop: "The media workshop was a very useful one for me. I've learned how to arrange the products to get a good photo and how to set the light to highlight the marketed product to potential buyers. This practical knowledge will help me better to promote my products on social networks."

"We wanted to support small and medium farmers through this project, in this case those who decided to return back to their homeland and were interested to open a business in the agricultural sector. This training activity aimed at drawing their attention and piquing their interest in the opportunities that digital tools offer. We count on their openness to new technologies and putting to practice the information and skills gained in the workshops. On the other hand, we will continue to develop the capacity of rural residents, especially returned migrants, in assimilating the knowledge of online promotion of agri-food products," said the Assistant FAO Representative in the Republic of Moldova, Mr. Tudor Robu.

The series of media workshops was organized as part of the project "Promoting decent employment and socio-economic integration for return migrants in rural areas in the context of COVID-19 and beyond," funded through the FAO Multi-Disciplinary Fund (MDF).