Between July 29 and August 7, 2017, A.O. “Pro Cooperare Regională”, a study visit was made to the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Estonia. The purpose of the study visit was to take good practice in solving community problems at the local level based on the LEADER approach and Local Action Groups. 21 representatives of the NGO, LPA, AE from 6 LAG territories in the northern region of the Republic of Moldova and representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (Rural Development, Agricultural Statistics and Marketing) took part in the visit.
The activity is part of the project “Development of rural communities through the LEADER approach and local action groups”, implemented by the A.O. “Pro Cooperare Regională”, with the financial support of the HEKS-EPER Foundation Switzerland. The project aims to contribute to improving the quality of life and living conditions of the rural population by creating Local Action Groups and attracting local investments.
During the visit, meetings were held with Latvian and Estonian Local Action Group representatives / partners who have been implementing community projects for more than 10 years from LEADER Program sources.
Finally, several areas that can be developed in the Republic of Moldova have been highlighted, taking over the Latvian-Estonian experience in this field:
• Regional development policies must be clearly delineated by rural development policies to increase investment in rural areas;
• The development of rural tourism is a priority component of rural development policy;
• Supporting and developing small businesses (family businesses) at the local level contributes significantly to raising the standard of living of the population;
• 80% of the EU countries implementing the LEADER Program elaborate and implement Integrated Rural Development Strategies, which offer them the possibility to direct all funds for rural development into the Local Action Group budget.