On 11 August 2022, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI) has announced the list of Local Action Groups (LAGs) that will benefit from Government’s financial support within 2022-2023, as part of the LEADER Program. The total value of the financial support is 173.6 million lei (approx. 9 million EUR), with each of the 37 selected LAGs to access 2.5 million lei (approx. 130,000 EUR) from the National Fund for the Development of Agriculture and Rural Environment (NARDF) managed by the Agency for Payments and Intervention in Agriculture (APIA). The LAGs were selected from a pool of 40 applications, all of which have passed the selection process and had their Local Development Strategies (LDS) approved. However, due to the 5% financial ceiling allocated for the LEADER Measure within NARDF, MAFI could allocate financial support in the upcoming year only for the implementation of 37 LDSs.

Following the MAFI announcement, APIA has initiated the financing procedure for LAGS, which enables them to launch calls for rural development projects at the local level and engage actors from the public, entrepreneurial and civic sectors to contribute to community development. The local projects selected by LAGs to receive financial support from national funds will be evaluated in the final phase by APIA.

The LEADER Programme was launched following the design of the institutional framework for the implementation of the LEADER approach, supported by SFPL in Moldova and NLN within the “EU4Moldova: Local Communities Development (LEADER)” project. The strategic partners of the project are the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry of the Republic of Moldova, the Agency for Intervention and Payments in Agriculture and the National LEADER Network in the Republic of Moldova. The LEADER approach contributes to the sustainable improvement of the living conditions and inclusive economic growth in Moldovan rural areas. Now, there are 48 LAGs all over the country, which implement more than 850 local projects and gather 438 administrative-territorial units.

The LEADER Programme is supported within the “EU4Moldova: Local Communities” programme, financed by the European Union, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland – Polish aid; and jointly implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the Solidarity Fund PL (SFPL) in Moldova.