The only local enterprise that assembles “Made in Moldova” tractors is located in the southern part of the country, in Tomai village, ATU Gagauzia.
Ivan Nedov is the head of the company and admits that he was passionate about agricultural machinery since childhood: “At that time, being allowed to drive one of the tractors in the kolkhoz was the best reward.”
Now, Ivan is proud to have successfully manufactured dozens of tractors from scratch, some of them being sold abroad: "We can make up to 30 large tractors in one year, and twice as many small ones. We are the only ones dealing with this type of agricultural equipment”.
In time, he became better and better, but was doing everything by himself: “I was relying just on myself. You know, I have never expected for someone to help me without getting anything back. When I was first encouraged to apply, I hesitated. I said then: so many made promises but did nothing. So, I just gave up. Luckily, my colleagues insisted that I do not miss this opportunity”.
He applied for a grant under the “Support for agriculture and rural development in ATU Gagauzia and Taraclia district” (SARD) Programme, financed by the funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP. Ivan was skeptical, and the success of his proposal took him by surprise.
Ivan received a grant of more than EUR 18,000 from the European Union. He used this money to buy modern equipment that will boost his business. He has created 20 decent jobs for his peers. If he worked at full capacity, he could hire 10 more persons, from day laborers to high-skilled specialists.
Many of his employees are above the retirement age, like Vladimir Topciu: “I did a bit of everything in my life. I was a driver, I worked in constructions, and now I am a farm technician. There are very few people in the Republic of Moldova who can assemble tractors. We work with the entire country. We go to Drochia, Ocnita, Calarasi! I am very satisfied. Before I used to work abroad, now I am working at home. I finally feel good about myself.”
Realizing the need to invest in the professional development of his staff, Ivan Nedov established a partnership with the Crafts School of Ceadir-Lunga. For the second year, he trains school students to repair, assemble and check the technical equipment. Most skilled ones have the chance to get a job at the company.
“This work is difficult, it's not like taking a spade and working the land. Our trainees work with us from 9 am to 1 pm. Year-two students already know how to assemble tractors,” says Ivan, proudly.