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Medicinal and aromatic plants industry supported by a cross-border project

Medicinal and aromatic plants industry supported by a cross-border project

 

The Republic of Moldova, together with Greece, Armenia and Georgia, aims at modernizing companies which deal with cultivating and promoting plants and plant products, in order to help increase cross-border business opportunities for the enterprises from the Black Sea Basin countries. The 4 countries are partners within the European project "HEGO - Plants for Economic Growth", implemented under the Joint Operational Programme Black Sea Basin 2014 - 2020. The Organization for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprise Sector (ODIMM), as an implementing partner of the project in the Republic of Moldova, has organized the first national event of disseminating this cross-border initiative, which was attended by representatives of public authorities, research institutions, universities / training centers, entrepreneurs and project partners.

At the beginning of the event, Iulia Costin, the General Manager of ODIMM, highlighted that the Republic of Moldova has a number of advantages for developing this industry. “The local products from the Republic of Moldova, obtained from herbaceous plants and the plant products with a commercial value-added, are highly appreciated both on the local and international markets, being used in such industries as: food, cosmetics and home care, decoration & design, and pharmaceuticals. Through this project we aim to strengthen this field of activity in order to capitalize on the unexplored potential. At the same time, we intend to come up with dedicated and sustainable initiatives, including the creation of a cross-border cluster ”.

The project manager, Tassos Livadiotis, Development Association, Halkidiki (Greece), stressed that nowadays, there is an increasing demand for the traditional and innovative use of value-added plants, which reveals new business opportunities in this field. “According to recent statistics on international trade (UN, UNCOMTRADE), the global export demand and prices for the value-added plant products will continue to grow until 2025, and the plant products with improved quality and increased nutraceutical value will become more appealing to customers. Through HEGO project, we intend to bring together the significant players of the herbal product sector value chain and producers, academia, local authorities, etc., in order to help increase the cross-border business opportunities for the companies from the Black Sea basin countries”.

During the virtual event, there have been revealed the development opportunities for growing, producing, promoting and selling medicinal and aromatic plants. At the same time, there have been described some success stories of Moldovan entrepreneurs, specifying the contribution of the key actors in the development of this field, as well as activities planned within the project.

This is the first event to promote the project "HEGO - Plants for Economic Growth". Similar activities will be organized by the other partner countries:

a) Armenia - January 2022,

b) Georgia - May 2022 and

c) Greece - October 2022.

It is worth mentioning, that the Republic of Moldova is an important area for growing etheric crops, due to its favorable climatic and environmental conditions, as well as rich flora. According to the data from the “National Report on Biological Diversity. Republic of Moldova ”in 2019, the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants occupied an area of about 3.5 thousand ha. At present, there are registered more than 50 farmersproducing aromatic and medicinal plants, including lavender and sage, which are used on the local market, and also exported to foreign companies. Out of the total number of 26 producers of medicines in the Republic of Moldova, 17 companies produce phytopreparations, herbal products and medicinal plants. Out of 1156 medicines manufactured in the country, 238 (20.59%) represent phytopreparations, vegetable products and medicinal plants.

The project "HEGO - plants for economic growth" is funded by the European Union through the Joint Operational Programme Black Sea Basin 2014 - 2020. The initiative was launched in July 2020, being implemented by a consortium of 5 organizations from 4 countries: Development Association from Halkidiki, Greece (leader); Organization for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises Sector (ODIMM), Moldova; Aristotle University of Thessaloniki; Georgia Farmers Association and Agribusiness and Rural Development Center, Armenia. The aim of the project is to modernize enterprises related to the cultivation and promotion of plants and value-added plant products, and to contribute to increasing cross-border trade opportunities for the enterprises from the Black Sea Basin contries.

 

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