The code provides a new framework to tackle the current intensification of farming practices ©EUWI+
The Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment (MARDE) of the Republic of Moldova approved on 27 July 2020 the Code of Good Agricultural Practice developed with support of the EUWI+ project. This document is an important tool to prevent nitrate pollution and ensure good quality water resources in the country.
The Code, approved by Order of the MARDE no. 160 of 27 July 2020, is published on the websites of the ministry and other relevant institutions.
Significant nitrate pollution in waters and in the Danube-Prut & Black Sea basin
Agriculture is one of the major branches of the economy and farmland represents a high proportion (about 74%) of the total area of the country. The application of fertilizers (especially nitrate, an essential nutrient for plant growth) in excessive amounts and without necessary precautions leads to pollution of surface and groundwater and the development of eutrophication in rivers, lakes and as far as the Black Sea.
The nitrate level currently remains below the permitted threshold. However, if nothing is done to reduce the amount of nitrate that ends up in water, the quality of the resource will continue to deteriorate, impacting human health and the environment.
Moldova’s commitment to better water quality
The Republic of Moldova is in the process of harmonising its laws with European Union legislation in the field of environmental and water protection. In October 2013, the new Water Law entered into force, partially harmonised with the EU Water Framework Directive, along with other related directives, including the Nitrates Directive.
The Nitrate Directive sets out a number of measures that need to be considered to fight nitrate pollution. One of them is the need to develop and implement a Code of Good Agricultural Practices.
Remarkable wetland areas downstream on the Prut are highly sensitive to eutrophication ©EUWI+
Adoption of a Code of Good Agricultural Practice
The main objective of this Code of Good Agricultural Practice is to reduce and prevent pollution of waters with nitrates from agricultural sources in order to achieve a good state of water quality.
The code contains provisions to limit the number of fertilizer applications in accordance with good agricultural practices, taking into account the type and characteristics of the soil, the slope, climatic conditions, and use of irrigation techniques, etc., to avoid nitrates ending up in river courses and aquifers and polluting water.
This is good news for the country’s River Basin Management Plan. This additional legal document emphasises the importance of modifying agricultural practices to ensure good water quality. Another legal document currently being developed is the methodology to identify and delimit Nitrate-vulnerable Zones (in process). The MARDE has identified this document as an important step to diminish nitrate pollution in water, as the code will be compulsory in this zone. Future projects include the development of practices to enforce the programme of measures and monitor its implementation.