Economic Empowerment Gradinari

Projet terminé

The project aims to improve the living conditions of Roma and other disadvantaged groups from Gradinari by increasing the added value of their agricultural products and extending the market for those products.  

Pays/région Thème Période Budget
Favoriser la croissance économique et améliorer les conditions de travail
01.02.2016 - 28.02.2018
CHF 298'599

A large number of Roma in Romania live in poverty. In 2007 the absolute poverty rate among the Roma was five times higher than the value registered for the overall population.

The proposed project location, Gradinari, about half of the 1539 inhabitants are Roma. The villagers work in subsistence agriculture, cultivating vegetables. There are 140 Roma families living exclusively from their small subsistence farms. Given that in the locality there is no space where to keep for a longer time the harvested vegetables, and they don’t have any selling contract the inhabitants are forced to sell their production at very low price offered by intermediaries or by occasional buyers, barely covering their initial investment.


The overall goal of the project Economic Empowerment through Social Businesses in Gradinari is to empower the Roma from Gradinari to improve the living conditions in their community by higher capitalizing of the vegetables they grow locally.

The specific objectives are:

(1) To increase the added value of the products the Roma farmers from Gradinari are selling with at least 20%.

(2) To extend the market through: increasing local associability of the farmers from Gradinari; legalizing their businesses (as cooperatives or other business structures able to sign trade contracts and to issue required trade documents); appealing at the retailers’ corporate social responsibility CSR policy to contract their vegetables in favourable conditions.

Groupes cibles

Over 1500 inhabitants from Gradinari (most of them Roma ethnics)


The project will include an awareness raising campaign on the economic benefits of free association of small farmers; two social enterprises will be setup with at least 70 Roma associates/employees. They will be trained in social business management or qualified for specific jobs they will perform. Facilitation of contracts with big retailers will be undertaken and the CSR departments of such companies will be included in a campaign for more favorable conditions for the small farmers.

2 refrigeration units of minimum 100 m3 each will be installed in a building provided by the local municipality. During the peak season at least 150 tons of vegetables (minimum 300 tones totally in 2 years of project) will be refrigerated in order to avoid the losses caused by oversupply. Also, a technological line for pickling and canning the vegetables will be installed and will be operated by Roma women from community qualified during the project. A guidebook for social entrepreneurs describing the methodology of starting up and developing social businesses on vegetable farming will be designed and launched within a conference.


Principaux résultats attendus:  

  • Minimum 20 family farms from Gradinari will initiate the process of conversion to bio agriculture;
  • 80 tons of pickled vegetables sold during the project;
  • At least two functional social enterprises (agriculture cooperative) in Gradinari with over 70 Roma associates/employees;
  • 300 tons of vegetables are refrigerated from the local harvest;

120 tons of vegetables are pickled.

Direction/office fédéral responsable DDC
Crédit Contribution suisse à l'UE élargie
Partenaire de projet Partenaire contractuel
Secteur privé

Partenaire de mise en œuvre
Foundation for the Development of Social Economy

Budget Phase en cours Budget de la Suisse CHF   298'599 Budget suisse déjà attribué CHF   160'000
Phases du projet Phase 8 01.10.2015 - 31.08.2017   (Completed)

Phase 7 01.02.2016 - 28.02.2018   (Completed)

Phase 6 01.01.2014 - 31.12.2017   (Completed) Phase 5 01.05.2013 - 28.02.2018   (Completed) Phase 2 01.03.2012 - 30.11.2019   (Phase en cours) Phase 1 01.03.2012 - 30.11.2019   (Phase en cours)