The agriculture sector is a mainstay of Moldova’s economy with the majority of the population living in rural areas and depending on agriculture for food and income. Half of the agricultural workforce consists of women. Agro Gogu SRL is one of the companies in the Moldovan agricultural sector that was mainly growing vegetables and melons on 300 ha of agricultural land in the Anenii Noi region, around 30 km to the east of Chisinau. In 2020, the company expanded its activity range by adding a milk production unit. To this end the company constructed a new milk production farm housing 200 Jersey cows.
One key aspect of Agro Gogu’s expansion was the investment in modern equipment for dairy cattle raising, milking and milk cooling, financed through a EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line loan. Apart from a substantial expansion of its business activities, the new equipment installed as part of the investment project assures high quality milk production for the Moldovan market, safeguards the health and safety of the workers and minimizes the environmental impact of the new dairy operation.
The onset of the COVID pandemic required the implementation of protection measures to protect employees from infection but also to contribute to the stability of food supplies in the region.
Wearing masks became immediately obligatory for all, as did the daily temperature check at the beginning and end of each shift. Work processes were aligned to help employees maintain the required social distance and information boards informing workers about the availability and application of hand disinfectants, masks, etc. were installed. In bathrooms, the company replaced hand dryers with paper towels and showering in the company’s facility became mandatory at the beginning and the end of each shift. Under the new measures, employees are not allowed to leave the company site during the shift or bring any food from home. Instead, the company provides employees with food during their breaks, and it also rehabilitated some houses previously used for housing of technical staff for rest periods. To avoid contamination on public transport, the company started a shuttle services for employees with its own buses.