Producers have been working hard to ensure their products meet international quality standards and the country is currently working on a trade agreement with the EU.
According to recently released statistics, Moldova exported a total of US$ 4.25m of meat products during January-April this year, up from US$ 1.81m during the same period last year. This makes it the fastest growing exporter amongst all of the CIS countries.
The majority (70%) of meat exports were beef and pork. The leading export destination for pork was the UK, while most of the beef was exported to Russia and most chicken went to Israel.
Data presented at the National Bureau of Statistics suggests that production in Moldova has only increased slightly, with sheep and goat meat increasing by 14.1%, poultry by 9.1% and pork by 7.7%, suggesting a big increase in the percentage of meat that is being exported.
Experts said that the importance of the export market was growing because meat producers cannot sell their products on the domestic market. This is primarily down to the price of meat in comparison to wages, with the average price of meat on the Moldovan market currently standing at MDL 40 (EUR 2.6) per kg, while the average pension is equal to MDL 700 (EUR 45).
“In Moldova, the total consumption of meat is currently estimated at 38 kilograms of meat per capita per year, while this figure should amount to 78 kilograms. When the market price of meat is incredibly high [compared to wages], people can not afford buy these products,” said Basil Bumacov, Minister of Agriculture.