USAID Rural Competitiveness and Resilience Activity
Moldova, a landlocked country bordered by Romania and Ukraine, faces a challenging development path. The country needs to sustain macroeconomic stability and revive private sector growth, but the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic recession, and the regional crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have all caused economic uncertainty. Structural factors, like an overall declining population, weather-dependent agricultural products, and a reliance on remittances, make Moldova especially exposed to internal and external shocks and limit its current growth model, especially in its less developed rural areas.
The USAID-funded Rural Competitiveness and Resilience Activity (RCRA) responds to the emerging needs of both the Moldovan government and the private sector by supporting economic recovery and strengthening Moldova’s economic growth and resilience. The five-year activity supports the European Union (EU) certification and marketing of Moldovan producers in the high-value agricultural sector, thereby accelerating Moldova’s integration into reliable markets like the EU and solidifying Moldova as a reliable EU/Western trading partner. Additionally, with this expansion to stabler markets and related industries like agritourism, RCRA reduces the Moldovan agricultural sector’s dependence on volatile markets and instills transparency and an entrepreneurial culture among Moldovan agribusinesses, wineries, and tourism sector actors. RCRA will create an environment where individuals improve their lives and Moldovan entrepreneurs expand their businesses, penetrate diverse markets, and increase sector competitiveness for enhanced economic growth.
Building on a decade’s worth of USAID activities in the agricultural and tourism sectors, RCRA will stimulate a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the regional crisis of conflict in Ukraine, accelerate inclusive, climate-resilient economic development in rural Moldova, and increase the competitiveness of key economic sectors: agriculture, wine, and tourism. These sectors will act as drivers for sustainable economic growth.