Moldova is a European nation located on the eastern edge of the continent where it spans an area of roughly 13,068 square miles making it the 135th largest nation in the world. According to information from the World Bank, the nation is considered a lower middle-income economy. Moldova is the most poverty-stricken nation on the European continent. Despite this, the Moldovan government has put in place some measures to reduce the levels of poverty within the nation. Moldova is considered to have a limited number of natural resources with the most prominent ones being the arable land, limestone, and gypsum.
Natural Resources of Moldova
Arable land is one of the most important natural resources of Moldova due to the contribution of agriculture to the gross domestic product. Some of the crops grown in Moldova include wheat, barley, and corn. Apart from the incredibly fertile soils in Moldova, other factors that favor its high agricultural production include the favorable climate and its close location to the Black Sea.
Estimates indicate that the agricultural and food processing sectors contribute roughly 40% of the nation's gross domestic product. One of the main factors that contribute to Moldova's agricultural success is the change in land ownership from government ownership to private ownership. The Moldovan government cooperated with the American government to improve its agricultural sector.
Grapes are one of Moldova's most important natural agricultural resources. According to some estimates, commercial grape growing is carried on about 416 square miles of Moldovan land. There are several varieties of grapes in Moldova some of which are indigenous and the rest were introduced from other nations. Some of the local Moldovan grape varieties include Fetească albă, Fetească regală, and Busuioacă albă all of which are white varieties. The indigenous red varieties include Rară Neagră and Fetească Neagră. Several white grape varieties were introduced from other nations such as Sauvignon blanc, Pinot Gris, and Müller-Thurgau. The red varieties that were introduced to Moldova include Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot noir, and Saperavi.
Moldova also has a thriving wine industry that relies heavily on the grapes grown in the nation. In 2009, the Moldovan wine industry produced roughly 124,200 tons of wine. At the time, close to 25% of the Moldovan population was either directly or indirectly involved in wine production. According to a 2014 report, Moldova was ranked the 20th largest wine-producing nation in the world. Moldovan wine is highly valued and is exported to other nations such as the United States, Poland, and Russia. Some estimates indicate that Moldova exports roughly 67 million wine bottles each year.
Apart from commercial wines, there are a variety of homemade wines produced in Moldovan homes for a family's use. Most of the Moldovan families that make their wine rely on recipes been passed down their families for several generations. A wine cellar located in Moldova, the Mileștii Mici, holds the world record for being the largest wine cellar in the world. The wine cellar spans a length of roughly 155 miles, but only 75 miles are currently being used.
According to the CIA World Factbook, the most important minerals located within Moldova's borders include gypsum, lignite, and limestone. Most of the minerals extracted in Moldova are used in industrial processes. Moldova's fuel resources do not include fuel resources as it relies on other nations to supply it with fuels. Most of the fuel minerals that Moldova imports include natural gas and oil mainly from Russia. To reduce its dependence on Russian mineral fuels, the Moldovan government is looking to invest in other fuel sources.
One of Moldova's most important minerals is gypsum. According to a mineral report published in 2009, there were two main gypsum deposits in Moldova. The most important deposit in the country is the Kirovskoye deposit which has been producing gypsum since 1958. By 2007, 16 million tons of gypsum had been exploited from the Kirovskoye reserve. The Moldovan government partnered with a German company to fully utilize its gypsum deposits.
Iron and Steel
Iron is one of the most vital minerals in Moldova and is mainly produced in the Transnistria region. Estimates indicate that in 2009, iron and steel production was the second most important industry in the Transnistria region. One of the main industries in the region is the Moldovan Metallurgical Plant which accounted for roughly 70% of the region's exports. However, despite the importance of steel to Transnistria economy, in 2009, steel production in the region reduced by roughly 52%. Moldova also has a steel factory located in the Ribnita region which is referred to as the Moldova Steel Work. The factory is one of the most important in Moldova as it is capable of producing more than 1 million tons of crude steel annually.
The beautiful scenery in Moldova is one of the nation's most important natural resources. The beautiful scenery in Moldova attracts a large number of visitors from all over the world. Some of the most popular attractions in Moldova include Central Chișinău and the Muzeul Memoriei Neamului.
A study carried out in 2015 indicates that most of the tourists to Moldova came from Romania and Ukraine. The two nations accounted for more than 50% of the visitors to Moldova in 2015. Visitors from Russia and Bulgaria also accounted for a significant number of visitors to Moldova.
One of the most important natural resources in Moldova is the human resource. The Moldovan government has implemented some policies to increase the number of Moldovan people accessing higher education to make the Moldovan people a more resourceful. Research suggests that most of the students in Moldovan universities major in a social science field. The Moldovan government refers to the field as professional formation fields.
The Moldovan Economy
The Moldovan economy went through an extreme depression after the USSR broke up. The depression was occasioned by a shortage in the energy available in the country as well as the uncertainty over the nation's political future. Despite the challenges that Moldova faced, the government implemented ambitious plans to grow the economy as well as reducing poverty in the country.