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Agriculture minister promises subsidies for irrigation system revamps

Centralized irrigation systems are becoming vital for Moldovan agriculture, while their rehabilitation and modernization is becoming a priority, says Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry, Vladimir Bolea. According to the official, farmers willing to invest in the reconstruction of these systems will receive support, with the Government providing 50% of the total investment.

The minister says that due to global warming, it becomes impossible to obtain competitive agricultural products without modern irrigation systems. The rehabilitation of centralized irrigation systems is becoming one of the government’s priorities, and Moldova’s development partners are ready to support this goal.

“The World Bank has offered us $65 million, and we are waiting for Parliament’s ratification. Of the $65 million, $25 million are preferential loans at very low interest rates for rehabilitating centralized irrigation systems. This is a huge issue for farmers and the government is offering a subsidy measure for 50% of the investment value. Payments will not be made post-investment, as is often the case, but we will offer them in decisive phases. If the entire irrigation system reconstruction process has 5-7 phases, the Ministry of Agriculture through AIPA will make the financial disbursements in each phase separately. This is of invaluable help to farmers who will have to invest on credit. We hope that this method of payment will greatly boost investments in the reconstruction of irrigation systems”, said Vladimir Bolea during a Radio Moldova show.

The minister says that Moldova has sufficient water resources for a proper functioning of centralized irrigation systems.

“We have enough water. We have two rivers with great potential. We have access to the Danube and we can draw water from there if we build pumping stations and a pipe. For irrigation purposes, we have 4400 lakes throughout Moldova. The potential of these lakes amounts to 1.6 billion cubic meters of water. We have water in Moldova, but we also must learn to use it sensibly”, stressed Bolea.

He added that at present there are no conditions justifying the introduction of a state of emergency in agriculture, as previously rumored.

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