Tuesday, November 20, Expert-Grup in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Foundation, organized the International Conference “2012 Drought in Moldova: Consequences and lessons for policy development”. The conference was attended by about 50 experts and practitioners from various fields, representing academia, government, NGOs, research institutions, farmers. The goal was to analyze the social and economic impact of the drought of 2012 and identify conclusions and policy lessons that can be drawn from this extreme weather phenomenon.
The main conclusions that were stated at the conference are:
- The climatic changes in recent years require mandatory policy review. In particular, it is necessary to shift policy in a new direction, towards the promotion of conservation agriculture and irrigation practices. At the same time, it recognizes the need for an immediate response action plan, and preparedness and mitigation instruments, and effective implementation of the existing legal framework. The Officials, who attended the event, admitted the lack of intersectoral collaboration in the management of the phenomenon.
- Financial and risk transfer instruments are not fully used. With less than 5% of farmland insured in 2012 and the farmers’ reluctance to borrow agricultural credits from commercial banks, the farmers still have an incorrect perception of these instruments. Farmers are not aware of opportunities, or choose not to engage in credit schemes and grants provided by foreign donors because of administrative barriers.
- Drought management measures must not conflict nor compete with good environmental practices, especially when it comes to irrigation. Research has shown that in long-term improper irrigation lead to removal from the circuit of more than 35% of irrigated soils and had a critical effect on the hydrological network of the country. At the same time, today remains unknown what are the exact quantity and quality of the water available to irrigation, and the soil condition and quality.
- With the change of climatic conditions farmers should opt for crops with high added value and adopt tillage practices with minimal intervention. The farmers stated that, in addition to the lack of irrigation infrastructure, it’s difficile to import seeds with high resistance to drought, the import procedure being tedious and time consuming.