The European Union, through the European Investment Bank (EIB), supports horticultural education and research. The Technical University of Moldova (TUM) received financial support in the amount of 2 million EUR under the “Fruit Garden of Moldova” Project for the upgrade of its ten labs. The students of the Foodstuff Technology Department and of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Transport Department have now pieces of equipment at their disposal, which offer them an optimal frame for studying, for skills development during the practical courses, and for profile research.
The EIB funds have been allocated for the purchase of furniture for five laboratories, glassware, and equipment and chemical reagents for six laboratories. Part of the 2 million EUR was directed for the thermal insulation of the Foodstuff Technology Department building, having replaced the windows. At the same time, the Department amphitheatre has been repaired.
Amongst the analyses to be carried out within the ten refurbished laboratories one can mention the sanitary and hygienic analysis of water and air quality, soil microbiological control, and package hygienic control. The students will also study the physical and chemical quality indicators of fresh horticultural products, as well as the process of juice clarification, jam boiling or sauce making.
“When I enrolled in the TUM to get my Bachelor’s degree, we did not have such labs. All the time I was reading different articles to find out what research was carried out in the world, it seemed to me that we would never achieve such performance. Now we have the possibility to work with advanced research equipment. Thanks to these devices, we may become competitive and publish articles in international journals.”
Alexandra Savcenco, TUM PhD Student
Through their support, the European Union and the European Investment Bank encourage developments in the research area so that the quality of studies in the horticultural field could be aligned with the European Standards.
“The investments in modern infrastructure, labs and machinery are extremely important for the education of good professionals who would implement new technologies and bring their input to the development of the horticulture industry. In fact, this is an investment in the future of this sector.”
Alberto Carlei, Head of EIB Representation for Moldova
So far, under the “Fruit Garden of Moldova” Project, the European Investment Bank allocated circa 11.4 million EUR to ten education institutions engaged in the training of horticulture professionals.
The “Fruit Garden of Moldova” Project is a credit line in the amount of 120 million EUR targeting small and medium-sized enterprises working in the horticulture industry. About 10% of this amount, 12 million EUR, is set out as public investments of the Moldovan Government in the area of education and research aimed to develop and strengthen the horticultural sector. The funding agreement between the EIB and the Government of the Republic of Moldova was signed in July 2014, while the Project was officially launched in July 2016.