Thanks to favorable climatic and geographical conditions, rich soil resources and biological diversity, agriculture is one of the main pillars of the national economy. The share of agricultural production in the Gross Domestic Product of the Republic of Moldova was about 12% in recent years, representing about 45% of total exports
The major advantages of doing agriculture in Moldova are:
Favorable geographical location and climate, it is possible to grow early varieties of vegetables, which is a competitive advantage for Moldova. The country has moderate continental climate with short and relatively mild winters and long summers. Moldova has good humus soils and sufficient water resources.
Moldova’s population accumulated affluent experience and knowledge in growing high value crops such as: fruits and vegetables, tobacco, as well as in viticulture and wine production.
The fertile soil and adequate labor force are able to ensure efficient specialization in growing products for export with high profitability and productivity
Moldova oferă o gamă largă de produse agricole, cum ar fi fructe, legume, produse cerealiere și animaliere. Culturile de bază sunt cerealele de iarnă și de primăvară (grâu, orz, porumb), floarea soarelui, sfecla de zahăr, cartofii și legumele, culturile horticole și fructele. Principalele produse din sectorul zootehnic moldovenesc sunt păsările de curte, carnea de porc și carnea de vită.
Produsele cu cea mai mare orientare către export sunt vinul și băuturile spirtoase, precum și fructele și legumele, atât în stare proaspătă, cât și procesată. Piața Uniunii Europene rămâne a fi principala destinație a exporturilor moldovenești, urmată de cea a Comunității Statelor Independente – care împreună reprezintă 81% din comerțul exterior al țării.
Totodată, agricultura constituie în continuare cel mai important sector social al economiei naționale, utilizând aproximativ 21% din forța de muncă a țării.
The Republic of Moldova has a range of foreign trade agreements that create opportunities for commercial relations with 93 countries. The main trade partners for export of agri-food products are Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Romania, Italy, France, Poland, and Turkey. During the last years, agri-food exports have had a stable increasing trend.
The agrifood trade had a positive balance of 368 million USD in 2019 and the share of agrifood exports in total exports of 45 percent, while the share of agrifood imports in total imports stood at 14 percent.
The main exported goods products are wine and spirits, as well as fruits and vegetables, both fresh and processed - which represent 40% of the total export volume of the sector. The European Union market remains the main destination for Moldovan exports, followed by that of the Commonwealth of Independent States - which together account for 81% of the country's foreign trade.
In 2019, agricultural and agrifood products were exported for a total value of 1.21 billion USD, with 4,3 million USD more than in the previous year.
Moldova has all natural conditions necessary for intensive development of horticulture. From old times, this branch has been and is likely to remain one of the main pillars of the national agriculture, leading to efficiency of the entire agricultural sector of the country.
Fruit-growing represents one of the main strategic branches of the national economy, accounting for around 40 percent of the agricultural production value.
The total annual production of fruits in 2019 was about 846 thousand tons, with apples the first most important crop accounting for 72 percent of total production (ca. 611 thousand tons). Plums are the second most important crop, followed by peaches, sour cherries, grapes and berries.
The total annual production of vegetables is about 307 thousand tons excluding potatoes, which alone account for another 177 thousand tons. The main vegetable crops produced in open fields are tomatoes, cabbage, onions, peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins and other vegetables with averages fluctuating by 10 percent year by year. In greenhouses, total production approximates 2 thousand tons of vegetables.
Relatively favorable climatic conditions of the country, traditions and experience allows the cultivation of over 60 species of vegetable crops, obtaining high yields and good profit for most vegetable crops.
Wine Industry 2019
1st position in agri-food export
Moldova’s total export
Active Moldovan involved in the wine sector
Of the territory of the country (%)
Agricultural surfaces (%)
Of the GDP(%)
Position in Europe according to the area of the vine
Place in the world by density of vineyards
Companies in the wine sector
The largest winecellar by number of bottles
Wine-making is an essential branch of the economy. The share of viticulture and winemaking in global agricultural output is about 15 percent and respectively 23 percent from the total agri food export.
The total area of wine-producing plantations is 130 thousand hectares of vineyards, with over 30 types of technical varieties.
Geographical area: Natural factors of Moldova as a combination of a unique microclimate (sun, rain, and temperature), fertile soil, favorable geographical position on the same latitude as France and Northern Italy.
Traditions: Viticulture and winemaking is an activity, which has been practiced in Moldova over millennia. Novel variety: The wine produced in Ialoveni is actually a Xeres wine, Prometheu is in fact a Porto wine, the Moldovan equivalent of Cahor are red and rosé dessert wines; “Pastoral”, “Bouquet of Moldova“ is produced according to the same technology as vermouth. Sparkling wines production technologies are the same as Champagne while Divines are using the Cognac technology process.
Unique collection: The collection of wine from Milestii Mici was included in the Guinness Book at the category “The largest collection of quality wines in the world” (1.5 million bottles).
Quality: Distinct qualities: taste, favor, properties, varieties.
The existing wine production companies have a wine grape processing capacity of 1 million tons and storage of wines over 800 million liters. Over 80 percent of companies processing grapes are equipped with modern machinery and technology.
In 2020, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, exports of wine products accounted for 136.7 million liters of wine, only 12.2% less than in 2019 - the equivalent of 2.72 billion US dollars (down of 7.6% compared to 2019). At the same time, the share of bottled exported wine increased in 2020 by 9% in volume and 9.4% in value, while the volume of wine exported in bulk decreased by more than 20%.
In the Republic of Moldova are delimited 4 regions for the production of wine products with Protected Geographical Indication: Codru, Ștefan Vodă, Valul lui Traian and Divin. Each region is run by an association of wine producers with PGI. All 4 PGIs are protected both in the Republic of Moldova and in the EU.
Only 7% of the world territory is suitable for walnuts cultivation. Moldova is fully included in these 7%, remaining one of the largest supplier of walnuts to the EU. (International Nut and Dried Fruit Council)
According to the International Trade Centre in Geneva, Moldova is one of the largest exporters of walnuts to Europe, after USA, Mexico, and China. Walnuts plantations have registered a rapid growth since the year 2000, from an area of 4,000 hectares up to 35,000 hectares in 2019 compared to 14 thousand hectares in 2013. Thus, the amount of exports grew from 39 million USD in 2007 to circa 100 million USD in 2019. Average productivity varies from 2 to 3 tons per hectare, depending on the variety and climatic conditions.
The Republic of Moldova is the 7th in the top of the largest nut producers in the world, after China, USA, EU, Ukraine, Chile and Turkey
Moldova has the largest walnut factory in Eastern Europe, with about 700 ha of walnut cultivation area
On the EU market, Moldova is the third largest exporter of nuts, after the USA and Chile
Our country is the sixth largest exporter of nuts with a share of 4.3 percent of global exports, after the US, Mexico, Chile, Germany and Ukraine-the equivalent of over 109 million US $
About 90% of exports are walnut kernels and only 10 percent are nuts
The walnut sector is constantly growing; statistics show that production in the last 5 years has increased by 52%.
Over the past three years, Moldova produced between 2,000 – 3,500 tons of dried fruits (mostly plums, but also apples, cherries, pears, etc.) per year, depending on the growing conditions and availability of raw materials.
Export levels are usually about 70 percent of production. The EU absorbs about 80 percent of Moldova’s dried fruit exports; CIS countries, primarily Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, accounting for the remaining 20 percent
The food and beverage industry, as a component part of the processing industry, is one of the main industrial sectors of the country, having a share of over 41% of the total industrial production of the country.
Wine production occupies the largest share in the total volume of the food industry - 7.5%, the equivalent of 1.6 billion lei, followed by the manufacture of dairy products - 5% (1.03 billion lei), meat production, processing and preservation and meat products -4.4% (979.5 million lei) and processing and preservation of fruits and vegetables - 3.6% (610.3 million lei).
In March 2020, compared to the same period of 2019, the food industry as a whole registered an increase in industrial production by 3.3% (which generated the increase of the general index on total industry by 0.7%). Substantial increases were registered in the activities: manufacture of milling products, starch and starch products - by 56.6% (motivating the increase in total industry by 0.2%); production, processing and preservation of meat and meat products - by 15.2% (motivating the growth on total industry by 0.7%); manufacture of vegetable and animal oils and fats - by 5.4% (motivating the growth on total industry by 0.2%); and so on
At the same time, there were reductions in industrial production in the following activities of the food industry: processing and preservation of fish, shellfish and molluscs - by 22.7% (causing a reduction in total industry by 0.1%); manufacture of other food products - by 7.7% (causing the reduction on total industry by 0.1%); dairy production - by 5.5% (causing a reduction in total industry by 0.2%); processing and preservation of fruits and vegetables - by 5.1% (causing the reduction on total industry by 0.1%); and so on.
Annually, approximately 20 percent of all vegetables and 55 percent of all fruits are processed. The total volume of fruits and vegetables processed is approximately 300- 350 thousand tons per year. Eight companies (Orhei-Vit, Alfa-Nistru, Ecovit, Natur Bravo, Fortuna Plus, Covali & Co, VM PlumCom, and Monsterax-GSG) export a diverse range of products, including apple juice (clarifed and with pulp), fruit nectars, fruit drinks, and preserved fruits and vegetables. Canned fruits and vegetables have the most signifcant export volumes including peas, corn, and whole tomatoes. Additional processed items are tomato pastes and ketchups, purees for babies, jams, preserves, and specialty items, while more than 90 percent of production is for export.
In the Republic of Moldova, cereal crops account for 35% of the total area of agricultural land and even more of the total sown area – about 60 – 65%. The most important role in the value chain of cereals and cereal-based products is held by traders and to a less extent by operators of the bakery industry.
The main crops cultivated in Moldova include wheat, barley, and corns. The majority of products produced within this sub-sector are provided for the domestic market. The main trade markets are Romania, Russia, Germany, Italy, and Turkey. The majority of products manufactured within this sub-sector are provided for the domestic market, except for small/minor quantities of biscuits, which are exported. Although Moldova is an important producer of grains, with a wheat yield of 3.3 tons per hectare in 2019, it is still lagging behind the EU-27 average yield of 5.66 tons per hectare. The main reasons behind this defciency are the production in smallsized farms and the ineffciency in input usage.
In recent years, the Republic of Moldova has experienced a continuous increase in the share of organic products, so that cereals occupy the largest area of organic crops - about 11 271 ha.
As a result, the Republic of Moldova is becoming more and more visible on the EU organic products market, ranking 6th in the top of organic wheat exporters in the EU and 4th in the list of exporters of oilseeds (excluding soybeans) by volume delivered , which accounts for about 10% of total European imports.
Livestock is an important branch of agriculture, which is focused on breeding, reproduction, improvement of breeds, and exploitation of agricultural animals. Growing and improvement of animal breeds is necessary to ensure the population with animal products, of the food industry and light industry – with raw material, of the agriculture – with organic fertilizers.
Livestock sector consists of the following main branches: breeding and fattening cattle, pigs, sheep and goats, poultry, and horses.
Renovation and operation of existing farms.
The Republic of Moldova used to have a very strong livestock sector when it formed part of the USSR. Existing infrastructure allows investors to start operations in a very short time.
Cattle feed mills.
Cattle feed industry is now emerging, but it is still produced below potential. The demand for livestock feed of various types (dairy, fattening, bulls, etc.) potentially increase further, thus cattle feed industry will probably grow.
Setting up new large breeding and fattening farms.
Large farms can serve as primary source of sale of genetically superior animals for new farms, dairy colonies (which have high turnover of animals), and export.In particular, pork is one of the most popular meat types for Moldovan customer, since it is much more affordable than beef. Moldova’s pork production was 54 thousand tons in 2009 and increased by 65 percent in 2019, reaching 83 thousand tons in live weight.