How UKaid, delivered through DFID, is making a difference
24 March 2010
In a small village in northern Moldova the farmers gather a poor corn harvest after a year without rain.
The lucky ones load the sacks in the wagon, while the rest bring them home on their backs.
Most of the adult population of the village have left to work abroad, where they can earn much more than the national average salary of €100 per month.
But Gheorghe and Aliona Panfil are different.
Driving around in a luxury car they proudly show off their agricultural business built from scratch.
“In total we own around 500 hectares of land and all our agricultural equipment”, says Gheorghe.
“We travel, we have a nice house, we can pay for our son’s education.”
The Panfils started buying the land that used to belong to a local kolkhoz (collective farm). They now own tractors and a harvester, also used by neighbouring farmers.
“In 2000 we had seven hectares on which we planted corn, rice and sunflower. After a year we had 87 hectares, but no equipment’ recalls Aliona.
“In Moldova, if you don’t have any equipment, it is not even worth to think of doing something in agriculture.”
George saw a DFID-funded TV advert about help and financial support for entrepreneurs wanting to start up or extend their business through Garantinvest, a loan guarantee fund.
The couple took out a $10,000 loan through the scheme to buy essential equipment.
Both Gheorghe and Aliona have also benefited from training and study visits to farms in Europe, through the DFID-funded Support to Rural Investment and Services Project (SRISP), to help move their business forward.
Project manager, Viorel Gherciu, has hundreds of similar success stories.Between 2002 and 2006, we supported nearly 1,300 entrepreneurs and created more than 6,000 new jobs.
Almost 5,000 farmers have received business training. They have learned how to manage their businesses, how to plan their activity and we hope that they can now offer this support to their colleagues.”
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