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Module 2 - Romania: Competitive Grant Support for Providing Technology and Information to Private Farmers

Lessons Learned

Some of the lessons learned during implementation of the CGS may be summarized as follows:

  • To ensure a clear, transparent methodology for awarding competitive grants, a rigorous set of criteria and indicators should be set out in a well-designed, clearly written operation manual.

  • To avoid the perception of bias, CGS Board members should come from the public and private sector and be selected on the basis of their knowledge, experience, and independence. The Chair of the Board should be an independent person with a good reputation, not representing the government or any particular beneficiary.

  • To ensure that the program is demand-driven and reflects the needs of farmers, multiple beneficiaries must be involved in decision-making for setting priorities and awarding grants. For the subprojects to be implemented successfully, the smooth and timely flow of funds is critical and must occur in accordance with the contractual workplan and agreed disbursement schedules based on performance indicators.

Still other lessons include: the operational manual must be updated periodically to reflect the evolving needs and demands of the sector; training in developing good-quality projects must be provided to members of the Board, CGS secretariat, and applicants for grants; and a strong monitoring and evaluation system is essential for ensuring project success.


Potential for Wider Applicability and Issues in Scaling Up


Many countries in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Region face similar problems in providing technology and information to farmers to meet the new challenges of a market economy. Based on the experiences of Romania, a number of countries in the region—Azerbaijan, Croatia, Georgia, and Kazakhstan—have initiated similar CGS programs, and their number is increasing. Romania is already capitalizing on the experiences gained under the project in the efficiency, cost effectiveness and speed of response to farmers’ needs for technology and information. The government has started to implement a new US$50 million Bank-funded Modernizing Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems (MAKIS) Project, designed to expand activities initiated under the Agricultural Support Services Project by supporting agricultural research institutions and advisory systems as well as strengthening food safety. In particular, the MAKIS project will assist research institutes and the agricultural extension agency (ANCA) to undertake, with full government support, the structural reforms necessary to fully achieve the efficiency, effectiveness, and client relevance objective. The participatory and demand-driven approach to applied research initiated by the Agricultural Support Services Project through the CGS will be continued under MAKIS, which will gradually mainstream CGS as one of the core activities of MAFRD




Project Name

Agricultural Support Services Project

Project ID


Project Component Cost

Competitive Grant Program-US$14.49 million


FY2001 -­ FY 2006

Contact Point

Doina Petrescu

The World Bank Office

Dacia 83 Blvd, Bucharest, Romania
Tel: (40-1) 201-03-11World Bank Office, Bucarest, Romania,


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