During January – February 2021, 12 (teleworking) expert missions took place with the participation of altogether 28 international experts from Austria, Poland and Lithuania.

The expert missions were organised within the EU-funded Twinning AgriFood Project „Further support to Agriculture, Rural Development and Food Safety in the Republic of Moldova”, which aims to strengthen the institutional capacities of the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment (MARDE), Agriculture Intervention and Payment Agency (AIPA) and National Food Safety Agency (ANSA) in the design and implementation of sustainable agriculture, rural development and food safety policy in line with EU legislation and best practices.
The main focus of the expert missions was to support and guide the development of the National Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (NARDS 2030). NARDS 2030 is a major strategic document for agriculture and rural development of the Republic of Moldova. On the recommendation of the Twinning experts, a major strategic decision has been made by MARDE to switch from a “scattered and sector policy making approach” to an “integrated approach” and to prepare the future NARDS 2030 as an integrated document, based on the elaboration of the EU’s CAP strategic plans.
Taking into consideration that this current year financial support for the animal sector is planned to be implemented in the Republic of Moldova, the respective regulation was reviewed and a potential business process for the implementation was elaborated together with AIPA’s experts.
The Twinning experts also worked on “scenarios on area based direct payments”. Basic data and different definitions have been prepared, presented and discussed with MARDE’s experts. The results of this activities will be incorporated in the NARDS 2030, were area based environmental payments may play a role.
The Twinning experts in cooperation with MARDE and ANSA reviewed the national legislation related to animals (bovine) identification and registration and their compliance with EU requirements. The options for reviewing and updating national legislation have been agreed upon. Recommendations for MARDE and ANSA were also provided.
The control system related to animal (bovine) identification and registration and their compliance with EU requirements was also reviewed. Also, the business process of farm registration as well as the animal identification and registration from birth to slaughter incl. Information Technology and Cybersecurity were discussed between ANSA, MARDE and the Twinning experts. The experts reviewed the checklist related to official control of animals (bovine). Best practice on the selection of holdings for official controls based on risk criteria was shared.
The official control procedures of composite products (including ice cream) and the certification system for products of animal origin were reviewed. It was recommended to start implementing
the new requirements of Regulation 2020/692 for export of composite products from the Republic of Moldova into EU. In general, the specific procedure certification of products of animal origin intended for export complies with the EU requirements. Some shortcomings were identified.
The compliance with EU requirements of the official control procedures and checklists for holdings of broilers and laying hens related to animal health were also reviewed. The recommendations were provided.

The EU funded Twinning AgriFood Project “Further support to Agriculture, Rural Development and Food Safety in the Republic of Moldova” with a total budget of EUR 2 million has officially started on 1 September 2020.