The Technical Assistance to the Fruit Garden of Moldova project organised 3 internships of Moldovan staff of agricultural education and research in Romania, Israel and Germany

The EIB financed Fruit Garden of Moldova credit line has supported public Moldovan investments into horticultural education and research for around 12 million EUR. Laboratories were equipped, machinery training halls built and college orchards established to name just a few examples. After successful completion of procurement and construction, however, the job is not done. The central challenge is now for the supported institutions to make best use of the new infrastructure with methods which are now common in countries of the West. Will study tours or foreign consultants help the Moldovan staff to acquire those skills? The Technical Assistance rather decided to build capacity through internships of key Moldovan personnel of the supported institutions at similar institutions in countries of the Western hemisphere.

The Technical University of Moldova got its laboratories equipped with new machines for chromatography and mass spectrometry with the help of Fruit Garden of Moldova. They allow for accurate food analysis. Such machines cost several ten thousand of EUR. In May, 2022, three staff of TUM (two professors and a lab assistant) got the chance to make a 1-week internship at the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca in Romania which has been using such machines for years. Being welcomed by the Romanian research staff of the university, the three Moldovans were able to study a number of different protocols and methods for various kinds of analysis. “This has helped us to save at least 6 months of experimenting with our new machines”, says Dr Artur Macari, Associate Professor at TUM.

In addition, with the assistance of the EU funded Technical Assistance project, young technical staff of the viticulture virology laboratory of the Moldovan Horticulture Institute ISPHTA, which is also a Fruit Garden of Moldova beneficiary, are spending one month in Israel in order to learn how Israeli scientists at the Volcani Institute are detecting different viruses of wine and table grapes. Teaching staff of the Agricultural University ASUM and the Agricultural College in Soroca are accompanying German teachers of the vocational agricultural machinery training institute DEULA Nienburg for two weeks to practice modern, competency-based and practical teaching methods as they are practiced in Germany. Such internships have proved to build personal capacities. Moreover, they also provide a foundation for further collaboration between Moldovan institutions and those from the West.