A cross-border market with a modern agri-food hall was opened in Slobozia Mare, Cahul district. The market is one of the biggest from the southern region of Moldova and the only one open seven days a week. The residents of the region, but also beyond the Prut, from Romania, will be able to buy milk and dairy products, fresh meat, vegetables and fruits, cereals and walnuts, leather and fur products and handicrafts, produced by the 1400 entrepreneurs and farmers from Slobozia Mare. Starting today, they have modern conditions to market their products.
The market in rustic style with a modern agri-food hall was built from scratch with the support provided by Switzerland within the UNDP “Migration and Local Development” project (1.1 million MDL), Government Program ”DAR 1+3” (250,000 MDL), also with the contribution of Cahul District Council (300,000 MDL), Local Public Administration of Slobozia Mare (837,000 MDL) and the contribution of 150 natives from Slobozia Mare settled in siaspora (177,000 MDL), the total cost of works being 2.6 million MDL.
“The Diaspora Relations Bureau has a huge opportunity to cooperate with the communities of the Republic of Moldova through Government Programme DAR 1+3. We appreciate this intervention especially because it brings us closer to natives that are far away from Moldova as part of the diaspora, but always eager to contribute to local development and country development, respectively,” said Nadejda Zubco, Head of Diaspora Relations Bureau.
The market with agri-food hall will ensure 20 places for selling meat and dairy products, 20 places to trade from trucks/vans, 25 selling stalls, 5 counters for industrial products. The producers of Slobozia Mare will attract about 12 thousand people from the south of the country and from Romania during the year.
“I am pleasantly surprised to see such beautiful results achieved in such a short period here, in Slobozia Mare. It proves the will and the synergy of local stakeholders for the common good of people in the community. I am happy to note that the support provided by the Government of Switzerland is multiplied at local level, including by involving the natives. All these bring results that exceed the expectations set initially in the 120 initiatives implemented with the support of the Swiss-funded UNDP Migration and Local Development Project,” mentioned Caroline Tissot, Director of Swiss Cooperation Office in the Republic of Moldova.
The economic development of Slobozia Mare village happens based on the Local Economic Growth Roadmap for 2019-2022 developed by local businesses in partnership with the local authorities, and the natives that are abroad. All these was possible to achieve thanks to the applied methodology of the Swiss-funded UNDP “Migration and Local Development” project.
“This market is a powerful engine for the local economy of Slobozia Mare - generating better opportunities for selling local products and decent earnings for local families, as well as revenues for the local budget. Moreover, it has become a regional and cross-border attraction of buyers, tourists, and visitors, encouraging local tourism in the Southern region of Moldova,” said Dima Al-Khatib, Resident Representative, UNDP Moldova.
The market is an element that complements and promotes not only the local and regional economic development, but also the tourist activity of the locality. The proximity of the Giurgiulesti Port and Beleu Lake, part of the Biosphere Reserve "Prutul de Jos", included in the UNESCO world network in 2018, helps the community to develop an attractive tourist offer with 24 points of interest, tourist information center, a museum with over 10 thousand exhibits, and the ethno-folkloric ensemble "Mocănașii".
“I can certainly say that Slobozia Mare is an economic hub in the south of the country and a unique touristic destination. All these were achieved through changes made together with local businesses, households, and the natives. With small steps and victories, continuously monitored, we have reached big results meant to change positively the life of people,” declared Valentina Carastan, mayor of Slobozia Mare.
“We donated money for the market. I want to go shopping in good conditions. If we do not develop this village, who else will do it. We are proud that out village will be the most developed village in the Lower Prut Meadow region. I want us to have guest houses, well arranged, touristic places and tourists who will spread the word about our village,” says Liudmila Arbuz, born in Slobozia Mare, now living in Italy.
Slobozia Mare is one of the 25 localities supported in their local economic development by the Swiss-funded UNDP “Migration and Local Development” project.