The year 2020 was a good year for the project, despite the pandemic and all the financial, social and medical crisis. The project team managed to keep on working on the goals and achieved good results.

The PART I of the project, focused on increasing the competitiveness of the agri-food sector through integration to domestic and global value chains, in particular in the soya sector, is implemented with the help of Pro Didactica and Donau Soja partners.

In the last quarter of 2020, two major workshops led by Donau Soja were organised:

  • Workshop on Genetically Modified Organisms – Aspects of Biosafety and implications for Moldova’s Agri-Food sector (presentation of study results);
  • Workshop on the presentation of the National Action Plan for Soya Sector Development in Moldova.

The results of Donau Soja for 2020 are remarkable despite the crisis faced and the change of plans:

  • 316 participants benefited of best practice dissemination events;
  • 3 soybean processors and 2 traders participated in BIOFACH Fair, Made in Moldova Fair, exchange visit to Austria;
  • 5 soybean processing companies benefited from quick GMO and Mycotoxins scanning equipment;
  • 26 producers benefited from training in financial literacy and business planning and 8 benefited from support in developing business plans;
  • 23 soya value chain participants have been engaged in project activities aimed at developing soya value chains;
  • Moldovan soybean producers benefited from capacity building through the 52 visibility materials and mass media appearances;
  • 103 trainings beneficiaries: 19 farmers; 4 agricultural collectors; 3 feed/food processors, 10 input suppliers; 5 associations; 2 research and development; 13 inspectors from 4 certification bodies; 1 ministry representative; 14 teachers and other 32 participants from different institutions;
  • 20 certifications Pilot Certification: 19 beneficiaries will be certified according to Donau Soja Standard and 1 beneficiary will be certified according to Non-GMO DRS Standard Certification.

Meanwhile, Pro Didactica focused on information and training activities for knowledge transfer to beneficiaries of VET institutions. Among the main events conducted in the last quarter are:

  • Piloting the “Ecological agriculture” curriculum in education agricultural;
  • Training of trainers in Vegan and Vegetarian kitchen in the Vocational School of Bubuieci.

A total of 23 events were organised by Pro Didactica during 2020 with more than 350 beneficiaries and partners:

  • 300 persons participants at the trainings and workshops: VET teachers and managers;
  • 7 pilot VET institutions + 5 additional VET institutions;
  • Established partnerships with 3 Ministries;
  • Established partnerships with 2 Sectoral Committees;
  • Established partnerships with companies CEDA, MOVCA, CCI, AED, EtnoGastronomica, etc. and with Institute Selectia;
  • 10 mentors from 10 companies;
  • 10 practical coordinators from VET;
  • Minimum 15 specialists from companies involved in Occupational Standards;
  • Minimum 90 soya producers involved in soya competence needs assessment;
  • 19 young farmers trained in Business Plans development;
  • 9 ecological agricultural producers involved in curricula development.

The PART II of the project focuses on strengthening the water supply and sanitation infrastructure in Cantemir. The team working on this component also managed to complete a lot of construction works and achieved progress, keeping up with the pace of the project and being able to complete the Wastewater Treatment Plant for 2021.

In the last quarter, the project team went on with the construction works and continued connecting households to the new sanitation network. The main results achieved up until the end of this year are:

  • Completion of works for upgrading of the Raw Water Pumping Station (RWPS), which was officially put into operation in November 2020.
  • Completion of all civil works (100%) of the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in November 2020 and start of the mechanical and electrical installation.
  • Half of the sanitation network was constructed. Thereof: pipelaying length 10 588 m (60% of total), 423 manholes installed (59% of total), 125 house connections were completed (26% of total).
  • Several communication and awareness activities were implemented with the participation of high-level officials and local community representatives to increase the acknowledgement that everyone must have access to water and sanitation as defined by the Sustainable Development Goal No. 6.
  • The updated water supply and wastewater tariff was approved and applied after one year of negotiations and coordination. The tariff was not modified for the last 13 years causing an endless financial deficit for the water utility Apă Canal Cantemir.

In 2021 the project team expects to finish the works and give the citizens of the Cantemir town the possibility to fully enjoy their right to access sanitation and a clean water supply.