Moldova Transition to High-Value Agriculture Project Evaluation: Interim Findings
Millennium Challenge Corporation
- In 2017—two years after the centralized irrigation systems were rehabilitated—the systems were being used for irrigation, but not to the degree expected.
- Farmers cited several technical and financial barriers to using the rehabilitated systems. Additional barriers—such as limited access to sales markets and a limited desire or ability to invest in high-value agriculture—further slowed the transition to high-value crops. Larger farmers were best-positioned to overcome these barriers and benefit directly from system rehabilitation.
Mathematica is conducting an evaluation of the Transition to High-Value Agriculture Project that was implemented under the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Compact with Moldova (implemented between 2010 and 2015). The evaluation comprises two complementary evaluation components: an impact evaluation and a performance evaluation. The impact evaluation, which uses a matched comparison group design, evaluates the effectiveness of the project in the areas of Moldova where key activities are concentrated. The performance evaluation provides complementary information from stakeholder interviews and other data to provide a complete understanding of project implementation, successes, and challenges. To inform the performance evaluation, this report describes the experiences to date of Water User Associations [WUAs] and farmers operating in the 10 centralized irrigation systems in which the project established WUAs and rehabilitated the irrigation systems. The report examines how the systems are functioning and being used and whether farmers are transitioning to HVA production; the continuing barriers to irrigation use and HVA production; land consolidation and land prices in the systems; how the WUAs are faring financially; the experiences of early 2KR hire-purchase program participants; and the post-compact evolution of the data platforms and plans developed under the River Basin Management subactivity. The interim findings draw on qualitative and administrative data collected in 2017–2018 (two years after the compact closed), including data from interviews and focus groups with high-level stakeholders, WUA executive directors, and farmers in the rehabilitated systems; administrative and financial data from WUAs, and administrative data from 2KR.