Based on a case study of two Moldovan regions, the paper challenges the favourable assessment of recently established peasant farms in a World Bank study by LERMAN et al. (1998). The main arguments in favour of a more critical view of the results of land privatisation and farm restructuring are that a) private farmers produce only on a minimal fraction of land with almost no machinery or purchased inputs at all, b) the income of a typical farm household is below a poverty line based on national standards, c) private farmers face substantial production and marketing risks, d) at present, it is unlikely that short- or long-term investment projects in agriculture can be credit funded. Currently, peasant farms are mainly run to produce a minimum diet for the affiliated household. The situation thus gives little reason for rosy future perspectives concerning a market-oriented, commercial private agriculture.