Or at least it should be. In the small village of Dorotcaia, the reality is much harsher. Here, the machinery stands idle and the farmers - prevented from reaching their fields - have nothing to harvest.
The cause of Dorotcaia's problems is its location. The village, although situated on the left bank of the Dniestr, is under the control of the central authorities in Chisinau.
However, Dorotcaia's fields lie east of the road linking Tiraspol, the administrative centre of the breakaway Transdniestrian region, with Dubasari and Ribnita further north - in territory under the de facto control of the Transdniestrian authorities.
Farmland in vulnerable location
Out of the combined 11,000 hectares of farmland belonging to Dorotcaia and five other Chisinau-controlled villages on the left bank, around 6,300 hectares are located on the Transdniestrian side. Dorotcaia is particularly vulnerable, with some 85 per cent of its land in Transdniestria.
For most of the 13 years that have passed since the civil war in 1992, the farmers have managed to till, sow and harvest their fields, despite occasional disputes.
But since 2003, the Transdniestrians - whose official position is that a border between the unrecognized Transdniestrian state and Moldova should run along the Dniestr - have been squeezing the farmers harder.
Around the Transdniestrian checkpoints, which were set up at the line of control in the late 1990s, ditches were dug in order to prevent farmers from accessing their land. Unable to harvest their crops, the farmers suffered serious losses.
"This is our livelihood," said one exasperated farmer. "If we cannot till our land, how can we live?"
Another farmer, serving a lonely week-long shift as a guard at one of Dorotcaia's tractor stations on the Transdniestrian side, added: "These lands were worked by my father and his father before that. I grew up here and have always worked here, and now they tell us we cannot do so any more?"
Transdniestrian customs versus Moldovan farmers
The situation deteriorated further in October 2004 following a Transdniestrian attempt to expand the checkpoint at Dorotcaia into a full customs post. Angry farmers and Moldovan police arrived on the scene to halt the expansion.
In response, the Transdniestrians deployed special forces with automatic rifles, prompting the Moldovans to send their own heavily-armed rapid reaction unit.
By the end of the day a compromise had been reached under which the two sides withdrew, leaving the post as it was, but with a small number of Moldovan police on the other side.
In April 2005, when the sowing season started, the conflict again threatened to escalate. In the morning of April 6, two tractors from Dorotcaia tried to cross from Moldovan into Transdniestrian territory, but were stopped by the latter's border guards.
Escalating tension on the border
The tractors, however, refused to turn back and the situation slowly escalated. By midday, a crowd of angry farmers and Moldovan police were facing off against border guards, customs officers and militia on the Transdniestrian side.
The Russian commander of the Joint Peacekeeping Force - a Russian, Moldovan and Transdniestrian operation set up by the 1992 ceasefire agreement - arrived on the scene, but decided that solving the dispute was not within his mandate.
At this point the Moldovan head of the district administration Grigore Policinschi marched up to the checkpoint and, matching his strength against the surprised guards on the other side, forced the barrier open. For a moment the situation appeared to be spiralling out of control, but after a dramatic scuffle, a tense calm was restored.
A few hours later, the two sides - assisted by members of the OSCE Mission, which has maintained daily patrols in the area since late March - decided to withdraw and examine their options.
Calming effect of OSCE presence
The OSCE Mission is the only international organization monitoring the situation, able to play the role of a neutral third party and provide objective reports of events on the ground.
The presence of OSCE teams has also had a calming effect, as both sides know that they are in effect watched by the international community. On a couple of occasions, Transdniestrian customs have refrained from seizing tractors, probably because of an OSCE presence.
The OSCE has also acted as a mediator, arranging meetings on various levels, including between the Moldovan Minister of Reintegration, Vasile Sova, and the Transdniestrian chief negotiator, Valeriy Litskay. The mediators - the OSCE, Russia and Ukraine - also raised the issue with Transdniestrian leader Igor Smirnov.
It appeared during the course of these meetings that a temporary compromise could be reached, which would allow the farmers to access their lands until the end of the year in return for a small tax. However, to the dismay of the farmers, this deal has so far simply been ignored by the Transdniestrian side, who continue to hinder access.
Humanitarian aid for villagers
For the farmers, the 2005 agricultural season is now a write-off, and the Moldovan Government is seeking international assistance in providing humanitarian aid to the villagers.
In the meantime, the OSCE Mission will monitor the fields of Dorotcaia and press Transdniestrian authorities until a solution is reached which would allow the farmers to work their land and harvest their crops.
UPDATE: On 12 April 2006, following a series of meetings mediated by the OSCE Mission together with the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the European Union, representatives of Moldovan and Transdniestrian local authorities reached a temporary solution which allows the farmers to access their land.