A Climate-Smart Agriculture Policy in the Face of Droughts in Moldova

By Miki Lendenmann

Abstract: The effects of climate change have had and will continue to have devastating impacts on agriculture yields and production in the Republic of Moldova (RM) and throughout the world. Specifically, increased and more severe droughts will increase the number of hot days, decrease the water supply available for irrigation systems, and potentially reduce crop yields and production by 20 to 50 percent in the RM by 2050. Although the RM has been involved in several multilateral and regional initiatives to adopt climate change adaptation and mitigation policies, there is still much to be done to protect the country’s dominant agricultural sector that employs anywhere between 27 and 40 percent of the total population. Thus, this paper recommends a climate-smart agriculture (CSA) policy that combines investment in irrigation infrastructure, investment in the use of drought-tolerant, disease-resistant seeds and crops, and promotion of education and technical training for farmers on the effects of climate change and proper uses of these technologies. The CSA policy should initially target rural, poor farmers in the southern region of the RM – the population with the highest risk of experiencing the most severe effects of droughts in the country – and, if successful, should be replicated throughout the rest of the country. Finally, to increase its size, scope, and magnitude, multiple stakeholders, including international organizations such as the United Nations and the regional partners like Romania and Ukraine, should coordinate their efforts to organize and implement the CSA policy in the RM and throughout Eastern Europe.

About the Author: Miki Lendenmann is a Master’s candidate in International Development at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies in Denver, Colorado. As part of Korbel’s Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) program, she completed her coursework in March 2014 and began her service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Moldova in June 2014. Her primary placement is in the southern region of the country with an NGO called Hospice Angelus Taraclia. Miki also hopes to establish connections with the youth to facilitate secondary projects in the community over the next two years of her service.

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