Monitoring of policy implementation and impact assessment of the “Rural development through entrepreneurship and association” program

Monitoring of policy implementation and impact assessment of the “Rural development through entrepreneurship and association” program

Period of implementation: October 2016 – October 2017

The program “Rural development through entrepreneurship and association” seeks to identify the impact of the small farmers’ association in order to gain access to the market, grow from an economic point of view and thus represent a chance for the conservation and flourishment of Romanian traditional rural livelihoods. CRPE researched the implementation of the RAF pilot program which created and developed four small farmers associative entities in all the historic regions of Romania: Legume de Vidra, Lunca Someșului Mic, Miere de Câmpie and the Târgu Frumos. Also, the project aims at contributing to the research on small farmers’ access to market models and also to the alternative approaches to farmers’ extension – information and consultancy services in other relevant EU countries.

Hence, CRPE sets out to determinate the sustainability of the model, the impact the four cooperatives will have on their communities on the short and medium term after the RAF financing stops, the way in which it will actually be transferred and implemented at grass-roots levelthe impact of the new legislation on cooperatives and further policy necessities to be put forth in order to consolidate this type of entities, the extent to which it will influence the creation of a cooperative sector built on democratic basis, how the local rural counselling, information, access to physical storage infrastructure can influence the development of a sustainable cooperative movement in Romania etc.

Throughout the program implementation, CRPE managed to identify a series of specific technical and legal problems which hinder small producers association, in different fields (taxation, access to financing, access to markets and means of selling produce etc.) and published, on each topic, policy papers which provided the technical staff of the Ministry of Agriculture relevant analysis as basis for policy amendments (ex. the amendment of the Agricultural Cooperatives Law 566/2004, initiated by MADR and currently in Parliament,  establishment of a micro-credit fund for family farms in 2013, amendment on the Producer Groups legislation etc.) comprised policy recommendations for decision makers. Some of these problems have successfully been taken into consideration by the authorities and have been addressed in a suitable manner (ex. VAT reduction in wheat and pastry products, the establishment of a micro-credit fund by the Ministry of Agriculture etc).

Donor: Romanian American Foundation