Launching conference of the Irrigation Sector Reform activity
On 19 January 2011, the national conference “Compact Program – Irrigation Sector Reform in Moldova” was carried out.
The conference hosted representatives of the Parliament of Moldova, ministry of environment, ministry of agriculture and food industry, embassies and development partners, leaders of non-governmental sector, administration of local public authorities and agricultural producers.
During this event, the participants took a stock of the opportunities provided and proposed changes proposed within Compact Program, especially within the Irrigation Sector Reform. In addition, the discussions focused on methodological approach and implementation stages of the irrigation sector reform activity.
What is Irrigation Sector Reform?
The Irrigation Sector Reform (ISR) is an activity of the Transition to High Value Agriculture project of the Compact Program. It includes two sub-activities:
- Irrigation Management Transfer – oriented to supporting establishment of water users associations, capable to efficiently manage the centralized irrigation systems;
- River Basin management – focused on improving government’s capacities to manage efficiently country’s water resources.
IRS includes also activities oriented to creation of legal and institutional environment as to ensure the sustainability of the irrigation sector.
The irrigation management transfer requires the systems to be rehabilitated under Compact Program to be management by irrigation Water Users Associations. ISR will conduct an awareness campaign in the localities concerned to communicate to each land operator or agricultural producer about the initiated reform. Those who wish to participate in establishment of Association will sign an association agreement, which will form the basis of initiation of the registration procedure. Later, the associations’ members will benefit by a comprehensive training program, including exchange of experience, as to make them viable and efficient.
The river basin management includes development of adequate secondary legislation to implement the new Water Law as well as improvement of decision making process concerning water resource management.
In parallel, three other complementing activities will be carried out within Compact Program: Rehabilitation of Centralized Irrigation Systems, Access to Agricultural Finance and Growing High Value Agriculture Sales. These activities will contribute toward achieving the overall objective of the Transition to High Value Agriculture project which is: increase of rural incomes by stimulating growth in high value agriculture through access to irrigation water and catalyze future investments in high value agriculture.
By building irrigation system management capacities and improving water resource management, the ISR path the way to the activity of Rehabilitation of Centralized Irrigation Systems. It is planned to rehabilitate up to 11 systems – Chircani-Zirnesti, Blindesti, Gorezti, leova Sud, Cahul, Jora de Jos, Lopatna, Cosnita, Criuleni, Puhaceni, Roscani, with enough capacity to serve more than 15 thousands hectares.
More than 3 thousands farms from more than 20 rural communities will benefit by an improved access to irrigation water by 2015.
ISR activities will be implemented by a group of international companies led by Euroconsult Mott McDonald and supported by the basic local partner National Agency for Rural Development (ACSA). The Compact Program is a 5-year program implemented by the Public Institution “Millennium Challenge Account” according to the Agreement signed between Government of Moldova and Government of United States of America through Millennium Challenge Corporation.