Moldova Transition to High-Value Agriculture Project Evaluation

2010 – 2023

Project Overview


To assess the impacts of a multi-component agriculture project implemented through the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Compact with Moldova (2010–2015)

Project Motivation

Through the Moldova Transition to High-Value Agriculture project, the Millennium Challenge Corporation sought to increase production and sales of high-value crops, thereby increasing rural incomes. As the independent evaluator for the project, Mathematica assessed whether the project’s objectives were achieved and identified lessons that could be applied to future agriculture projects.

Partners in Progress

Agricultural Development Institute

Prepared For

Millennium Challenge Corporation

The Moldova Transition to High-Value Agriculture project rehabilitated irrigation systems, established Water User Associations to manage those systems, provided financing for agricultural investments, and provided training and other market supports.

Mathematica conducted a mixed-methods performance evaluation of the project that drew on administrative data collected by Water User Associations, survey data collected from farmers, and data from in-depth interviews with program participants, administrators, government authorities, and other stakeholders. 

The evaluation concluded that the project was successful in rehabilitating irrigation infrastructure, establishing Water User Associations, and transferring the management of irrigation systems to those associations. Though there were related increases in irrigation use and cultivation of high-value crops, those changes occurred among a relatively small group of farms and over a smaller-than-expected land area. Consequently, the project likely did not generate the envisaged increases in rural incomes. Farmers indicated that limited access to sales markets and limited availability of agricultural labor were key barriers to cultivation of high-value crops; improved employment opportunities for Moldovans in the European Union and increases in real wages in other economic sectors within Moldova also weakened interest in small-scale agriculture.

Related Staff

Jane Fortson

Jane Fortson

Senior Director, Mathematica Global Unit

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Evan Borkum

Evan Borkum

Principal Researcher

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Irina Cheban

Irina Cheban


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