Agriculture and fishing
Moldova has fertile soils and a climate favorable to agriculture. More than three quarters of the country’s area is cultivated. Agriculture is economically important for the country and almost one third of the labor force is found in the industry (2014).
- CountryAAH: Comprehensive import regulations of Moldova. Covers import prohibitions and special documentation requirements for a list of prohibited items.
Important crops are cereals, tobacco, root vegetables, vegetables and fruits, not least grapes. Wine and rose oil for perfume production are two traditional Moldavian agricultural products. Dairy products and pork are also important.
Drought, flooding and cold lead to worse harvests for some years. The cereal crops have been particularly affected.
In 1991 private individuals were allowed to own land, but the privatization of land has been a controversial issue. It was not until 1997 that the Parliament passed a law allowing free sale of state land to moldavers. Nearly a thousand collective farms have been split up into hundreds of thousands of private small farms. Today, just over four-fifths of all land is privately owned, and private agriculture accounts for 99 percent of production. For Moldova defense and foreign policy, please check relationshipsplus.
Agriculture uses pesticides to a great extent which has led to environmental degradation (see Natural Resources and Energy).
Almost a tenth of the land area is covered by forest, and forestry therefore has little significance for the economy.
Dirty rivers and the lack of coast also make fishing insignificant.
FACTS – AGRICULTURE
Agriculture’s share of GDP
10.2 percent (2018)
Percentage of land used for agriculture
74.2 percent (2016)
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Offers how the 3-letter acronym of MDA stands for the state of Moldova in geography.
The new president takes office
Igor Dodon, who won the presidential election in November, takes up his new post. He succeeds Nicolae Timofti.
The retirement age is being raised
Parliament adopts a law on raising the retirement age to 63 years from the current 57 years for women and 62 for men. The retirement age is to be gradually increased by a few months per year until the reform is fully implemented in 2018. The measure is part of the country’s three-year agreement with the IMF on financial support.
“Presidential elections” in Transnistria
Presidential elections are held in Transnistria. Six candidates stand, among them the sitting “head of state” Yevgeny Shevchuk. However, he receives only just under 28 percent of the vote. Winners already in the first round will be the local parliament’s former president Vadim Krasnoselskij by about 62 percent. He says he wants to strengthen the breaker’s strategic partnership with Russia and stabilize the economy. His first official trip after accession goes as expected to Moscow.
Dodon backs the EU
The incoming President Dodon says at a press conference that he wants to improve relations with Russia but has no plans to change relations with the EU.
Pro-Russian victor in the presidential election
In the decisive round of the presidential election, Socialist Party leader Igor Dodon wins about 52 percent of the vote against EU-friendly party candidate Maia Sandu, who gets 48 percent. Sandu says the choice was not right and was not free. She claims that the opposition spread lies and manipulated the election, funded it with black money and received support from the administration and the media. In his victory speech, Dodon says he plans to work for a quick new election next year in the hope that a pro-Russian government will be able to take over. Dodon has also upset the EU-friendly government by saying that Crimea is in fact part of Russia. It has been interpreted by the government as indirectly giving its support to the Russian-backed Moldovan outbreak Republic of Transnistria.
The IMF grants loans
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approves a loan to Moldova of nearly $ 180 million over three years, of which 36 million is immediately transferred. The IMF and the EU froze their support in 2014 after a billion dollars were cut from three of the country’s banks. According to the IMF, Moldova has implemented important reforms, but much remains to be done to strengthen the judiciary and the work of the central bank.
Pro-Russian presidential candidate wins first round
In the first direct presidential election in 19 years, the Socialist Party’s pro-Russian candidate Igor Dodon receives 48 percent of the vote. The bourgeois government coalition candidate Maia Sandu gets 39 percent. Another seven candidates take part in the election, but none of them receive more than 6 percent of the vote. A crucial electoral round between Dodon and Sandu will be held on November 13.
Moldova receives EUR 60 million from a loan from Romania totaling 150 million. The first payment can be made thanks to the economic reform plan agreed by the Moldovan government with the IMF in July. The Romanian support will be used, among other things, to work against corruption.
Reform support from the IMF
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) grants Moldova a three-year loan of $ 179 million, on condition that the government carries out economic reforms. The IMF discontinued its operations in Moldova in September 2015 in response to the equivalent of $ 1 billion from three of the country’s banks. In order to resume support, the IMF demands that the business climate be improved, that banks’ operations be reformed and that efforts to combat corruption be increased. The decision will be approved by the IMF Board in October.
Prison for former prime minister
Former Prime Minister Vlad Filat (2009–2013) is sentenced to nine years in prison for abuse of power and corruption. He is convicted of involvement in the corruption legacy that is estimated to have cost the state 10 percent of GDP (see April 2015 and October 2015). His private property is confiscated and he is prohibited from holding public office for five years. Filat, which has the right to appeal, is charged with a further three points regarding the same scandal.
Presidential election in October
Parliament calls for presidential elections until 30 October.
Demonstration for Romania
Thousands of people are demonstrating that Moldova will reunite with Romania. They claim that it is the only opportunity for Moldova to develop. According to the organizers, 50,000 people participate in the march, according to the police a maximum of 6,000.
Direct presidential elections must be reintroduced
4th of March
The Constitutional Court states that the president should be elected directly by the people. Thus, the Court is tearing up a 16-year-old constitutional supplement according to which the Head of State has been elected by Parliament. A number of opposition politicians have argued that the constitutional amendment violated the country’s constitution. The decision means that President Timofti, who would resign at the end of March, may remain as acting president pending the election of his successor. Parliament has two months to announce elections.
Protests against new government
Parliament approves a new minority government led by Pavel Filip of the Democratic Party. Philip intends to reign in coalition with the Liberal Party and with the backing of defectors from the Liberal Democratic Party and the Communist Party. Philip is approved as head of government after a debate that is sometimes interrupted by loud protests from parts of the opposition. After the debate, protesters enter the parliament building and riots erupt in which at least 15 people are injured, including nine police officers and former temporary president Mihai Ghimpu. The protests continue the next day, led by both Russia’s loyal parties and by the anti-corruption campaigners in the organization Dignity and Truth. The protesters are demanding new elections and claim that the new government consists of basically the same forces that shattered a significant part of the Treasury. They accuse Philip of having close ties to the oligarch Plahotniuc, who is held responsible for the misappropriation of state funds. The EU and Romania appeal to the Moldovan leaders for peace and reflection and urge them to implement reforms.
Protests against proposed government leaders
The government crisis deepens after the Democratic Party has proposed Vlad Plahotniuc as government leader. He is one of the richest men in the country, but also a controversial so-called oligarch who is suspected to have so much influence over the judiciary that he has been able to bring business competitors to trial. The nomination of him leads to widespread protests organized by the organization Dignity and Truth, which was formed to fight corruption. President Timofti refuses to approve Plahotniuc on the grounds that he “lacks integrity”. Instead, the president nominates Minister of IT and Communications Pavel Filip on a proposal from the Democratic Party.
Government formation fails
In a first attempt, Parliament fails to approve a new government. Only 47 members of the 50 required are in the vote. A new prime minister must be elected by January 29, otherwise Parliament must be dissolved and new elections announced.