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EU support to Agriculture, Rural Development and Food Safety in the Republic of Moldova – progress results

In September and October 2021, the Twinning Project “Further support to Agriculture, Rural Development and Food Safety in the Republic of Moldova” has implemented 7 physical, 1 remote, and 2 hybrid missions with the participation of 25 different short term experts from Austria, Poland and Lithuania.

In order to further support the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI) in the development of the future National Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (NARDS 2030) the Twinning experts from Austria and Poland worked on reviewing the draft of NARDS and the sectorial indicators. The aim was to ensure that the EU guidelines and standards are incorporated as well as providing recommendations.

Other two teams of experts further updated the proposed Monitoring and Evaluation system against the current practice of reporting and continued with the ex-ante evaluation of the NARDS 2030, part 3. The existing measures, the prepared and planned sector programs, the RD program, LEADER, etc. were analysed with respect to consistency and potential impact on Agriculture and Rural Development in Moldova. The gathered information, conclusions and recommendations were synthetized in reports shared with beneficiaries.

Together with the Agency for Interventions of Payments in Agriculture’s (AIPA) experts and PL Solidarity Fund, the LEADER system in Moldova was discussed. The various documents needed to be developed for the implementation of LEADER (procedures, handbooks, forms, templates etc.) were identified and their elaboration was initiated.

The Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) is another priority for the project and the beneficiaries. During this period, the last mission under activity on the topic on “Road map on IACS implementation in Moldova” took place. A high-level seminar was organised during which the experts presented the essential points of the elaborated roadmap to the top management of AIPA and MAFI as well as to representatives of the Ministry of Finance, National Public Service Agency, Delegation of the European Union and potential donors.

Two teams of experts from Poland and Austria conducted the first accreditation audit in AIPA according to Annex I Regulation 907/2014. As AIPA is not an EU paying agency, the idea of the audit was to get an objective assessment of the current situation in the institution. An audit report was elaborated where the main findings were summarized, the weaknesses were pointed out and recommendations were provided.

In the end of October, a team of experts from AIPA participated in a study visit in Poland. The Polish Agency for Restructuring and Modernization of Agriculture (ARMA) shared their knowledge and good practices during a number of workshops and presentations in the fields of internal audit, software development, cybersecurity, LEADER approach, IACS, etc. The AIPA experts also benefited from observing the on-spot situation during a one-day field trip. The experts had the opportunity to get insight from the beneficiaries of the subsidies provided by ARMA and find out more about their feedback regarding the procedures and their experiences. This knowledge remains to be integrated in AIPA’s general activities and further development and implementation of LEADER. The hosting experts shared details and templates with the Moldovan experts, and pointed out their readiness to provide guidelines whenever needed.

During September-October 2021, the Twinning project organised a study visit of ANSA (National Agency for Food Safety) and CRDV Laboratory (Republican Center for Veterinary Diagnosis) experts to Lithuania. The study visit consisted of important meetings with the experts from the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) of the Republic of Lithuania who shared their experience on official control of the food safety and veterinary system in Lithuania. SFVS also provided the key points related to the export issues on poultry meat and eggs. The priority of the Republic of Moldova is to open the export of animal origin products to the European Union.

During the study exchange, four visits were organised to establishments with different areas of activity (broiler farm, slaughterhouse, poultry products, fish, egg products, and bakery products production establishments). The experts from ANSA were interested in the Border inspection control and they visited one of the biggest Border inspection post.  The ANSA experts were interested, as well in veterinary certificates for animal products which are issued within the country. In this respect, they would like to implement some changes and simplify the procedure for food business operators.

The visits paid by the representatives of ANSA to the National Food and Veterinary Risk Assessment Institute of Lithuania covered the areas of implementation and accreditation of the methods performed on LC/MS/MS for residues in live animal and animal origin products. The experts from Republican Center for Veterinary Diagnosis got experience on methods for residue of chemical substances detection, review of the validation /verification criteria of screening methods and confirmation methods, calculation methods, planning and reporting.

The visit to the broiler farm and slaughterhouse provided the opportunity to see an example how the self-control monitoring programs in the area of animal health and food safety are implemented based on EU requirements. The visit to the establishment producing egg products helped to see a good example related to the manner the possibilities are valued and the manner of their future implementation in Republic of Moldova. ANSA experts stated that the Study Visit was a fruitful one in terms of seeing the implementation of EU Regulation and Standards put in place in Lithuania.

The Twinning project organized a mission in October to strengthen the capacities of Republican Center for Veterinary Diagnostic (CRDV) and reviewed the microbiology laboratory activities – accreditation status, quality management, facilities and environmental conditions, reception of samples, samples storage conditions. The experts from the National Food and Veterinary Risk Assessment Institute of Lithuania shared their experiences on methods of detection pathogenic microorganisms such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes in products of animal origin.

ANSA and CRDV thanked the Lithuanian experts for their support provided to achieving the requested compliances and the implementation of the European Union standards.

More information about the project is available on this link: https://www.facebook.com/organicisgood

Source: Publications office of the European Union
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