I travelled to Moldova in September to collect data for the on-going master’s thesis on the topic: Assessment of factors influencing improvement of market access among collective actions of small farmers in Moldova. I collaborated with local academic and private sector to gather relevant data for the research. These institutions are: State Agrarian University of Moldova, Union of Cooperatives of Moldova and BONCOM, private company specialized on Water treatment technologies and development projects around Moldova and abroad. Thank to this collaboration with other subjects I gathered useful contacts for the further work in my career. Moreover, local University from Moldova contacted me already to implement together a project on Ecological Education, which I think is really great.
I collected data from twenty three smallholder farmer groups. The majority of groups were selected from the official agricultural register received from Union of Cooperatives of Moldova. Greater part of cooperatives was involved in a big project supported by World Bank, called MAC-P. I used structured questionnaire in Romanian language to collect primary data. Also, I applied individual interviews with other members of the groups; transect walks and overt direct observations to triangulate my findings. My work on the field directly with farmers left me with great experience. I saw how things are done in reality and how different is practice to theory. It was definitely very useful and I would recommend everybody who wants to be a good specialist just to travel abroad with the first opportunity.
I would add that trying to do a specific research on the specific topic open your eyes on other aspects of life. During your time spent on your work, you consequently find new interesting things, learn more, meet new people and extend your borders.