Economic Empowerment Gradinari

Project completed

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.  

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Promoting economic growth and improving working conditions
01.02.2016 - 28.02.2018
CHF 298'599
Target groups

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.


Expected results:  

  • 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.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss Contribution to the enlarged EU
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
  • Foreign private sector North

Implementing partner
Foundation for the Development of Social Economy

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   298'599 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   258'599
Project phases Phase 8 01.10.2015 - 31.08.2017   (Completed)

Phase 7 01.02.2016 - 30.11.2018   (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   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.03.2012 - 30.11.2019   (Current phase)