Starea mediului in Republica Moldova
Raport popular, 2004

State of the environment in the Republic of Moldova
Popular report, 2004
Soil – main natural asset of Rep of Moldova

rom eng


Moldova - Land of life and peace

Air bazin

The water resources

Soil - the main natural richness

Biological Diversity


Environement potection policy

Other problems

Tables, figures, pictures


About report

The status of soil and its resources

It is well known that the soil is being composed and developed for a long time – tens and hundreds of thousands of years. Soils are the main natural asset/value of the Republic of Moldova , which is expressed through the soil productivity and diversity. The value of one hectare of agricultural land expressed in currency is one of the highest in Europe . By their quality soils in Moldova may be compared with the richest soils across the globe, for instance the soils from Krasnodar Region ( Russia ) and California (USA).

According to Academician A.Ursu, our soils contain from 150 to 700 tones of humus per hectare in the top layer of 100 cm. In the top soil there are (approximately): 1 billion tones of humus, 60 millions tones de phosphorus; 50 million tones of nitrogen; 700 million tones of potassium and substantial quantities of nutrients necessary for plants.

The use of soil resources in the Republic of Moldova is one of the decisive factors for the national economy.

The use of land fund is carried out based on the general and agricultural land cadastre and land monitoring. On January 1, 2003 the area of land with agricultural destination was 2 million 533.8 thousand hectares or 74.9% of the total country area. The arable lands make up 1 million 842.6 thousand hectares (54.5%), perennial plantations – 300.8 thousand hectares (8.9%), out of which: orchards – 137.5 thousand hectares (4.1%), vineyards – 152.8 thousand hectares (4.5%), pastures – 379.7 thousand hectares (11.2%), hayfields – 2.4 thousand hectares (0.1%), fallow grounds – 8.3 thousand hectares (0.2%).

Currently every inhabitant of the Republic of Moldova accrues only 0.43 hectares of arable land, the optimal share being 0.60 hectares.

During the past 30 years the average mark weighed by the productivity of agricultural land decreased by 5 point and makes up 65 point, while in Calarasi, Ungheni, and Nisporeni Districts – it decreased by 10 points.

The actual status of the top soil can be characterized through the area of lands with different productivity types/category.

Soil productivity in the Republic of Moldova
Productivity class
Productivity mark, points
Area, thousand hectares
Proportion in the total area of agricultural land, %
Autumn-wheat harvest, q/ha
Country Average

Source: Complex program for regenerating the degraded agricultural land. Chisinau, 2003.

The actual status of real productivity of soils is not satisfactory; moreover, it is critique on 10% of agricultural land. Deformation of cropping systems (the increase of the proportion of weeding crops and the reduction of areas under legume crops), the reduction of the volume of organic fertilizers by 20-30 times, of mineral fertilizers – by 15-20 times led to the creation of a deep negative balance of humus and bioelements in soils, and to their biological degradation.

In 2002 about 200 kg per hectare of dung was incorporated in soil, while the optimal quantity is 10 tones per hectare. The area of perennial plants was reduced during the past 12-15 years from 180-200 thousand hectares to 45-50 thousand hectares. As a result, the humus balance is negative: – minus 0.6 – 0.8 tones per hectare. The annual losses of humus due to erosion make up circa 600 thousand tones, or 0.3 tones per hectare.

At present there is a scarcity of nitrogen amongst the nutritional components, which impedes the attainment of high quality yields. In 2003 the optimal level of mineral nitrogen (N-NO 3 ) in soil (110-140 kg per hectare) was registered on only 2-5% of the investigated territories.

The second component by the nutritional importance is phosphorus. The content of mobile phosphorus in our soils is 1.8-2.1 mg/100 g and is between the reduced and moderate levels. Potassium – the third nutritional component is favorable for the attainment of high yield on 90% of agricultural land.

The soil productivity decreases steadily, and the “drought” and “desolate” phenomena have been intensified.

The following conclusions have been made based of the analysis of data of the Land Cadastre from 1989 and 2003:

•  The share of lands for arable purpose and for perennial plantations is too high – 63.6 % of the total area of the land fund, and this fact does not allow to maintain an ecological equilibrium;

•  As a result of land reform, it has become impossible to perform protection works, to improve the soil and its sustainable use, the main reason being privatization and segmentation of lands, their irrational use etc.

•  Cleaning up of circa 110 thousand hectares of perennial plantation during the privatization period caused the reduction of the biological diversity and the potential storage of carbon in woods.

What are the possibilities to maintain and enhance the soil productivity? In our opinion, the main possibilities are:

•  Use and incorporation of 6-7 million tones of organic fertilizers in soil;

•  The increase of the share of legume crops to 20-25% in the cropping system fields until the accumulation of nitrogen in soil will reach 30-35 kg per hectare;

•  The use of an optimal system of mineral fertilizers of 236 thousand tones of active substance, including circa 100 thousand tones of nitrogen, 91 thousand tones of phosphorus and 45 thousand tones of potassium.

The implementation of a complex action plan in the agricultural practice would ensure the conservation and enhancement of soil productivity, attainment of high yields and protection of environment.

Ministerul Ecologiei si Resurselor Naturale a Republicii Moldova,
Institutul National de Ecologie. GRID-Arendal
Copyright © 2004 INECO Moldova