The Republic of Moldova was able to increase the production of soybeans from 31,000 tonnes in 2022 to 50,000 tonnes in 2023, while the area under cultivation remained roughly the same at 25,000 hectares, according to Donau Soja. This success was possible due to increased rainfall and improved harvest yields.
“We see great development opportunities for the cultivation of soy and other pulses in Moldova. Moreover, market opportunities in Western Europe will increase in the coming years through the cultivation of sustainable, GMO-free and certified soybeans and soy products,” predicts Donau Soja senior adviser and director of the Protein Partnership Programme, Susanne Fromwald.
The Moldovan company and soy processor VI OIL AGRO SRL is currently in the process of Donau Soja certification. The company, which is a Donau Soja member, became the main soy cake exporter from Moldova and contributed to the increase of the overall Moldovan export to 2,800 tonnes until September 2023. The company also imports soybeans from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Ukraine and other countries and processes them into soy products for livestock farming in the EU.
Donau Soja is also actively implementing its Protein Partnership Programme in the Republic of Moldova to strengthen safe, sustainable, GMO-free, and deforestation-free soy production in Europe. This involves organizing training courses for farmers on soybean cultivation and facilitating the certification of GMO-free soybeans following the Donau Soja and Europe Soy standards. Producers in Moldova will also be linked to the markets in Western Europe, as the new EU Deforestation Regulation will increase demand for regional soy from Europe, according to Donau Soja. The activities of Donau Soja in Moldova are supported by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).
Since March 2023, the EU has approved the Republic of Moldova to import poultry and eggs into the EU. This strengthens poultry producers and laying hen farms in Moldova and increases the demand for sustainably produced and certified non-GMO and deforestation-free soy in Moldova, because of the demand of Western European consumers.