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EU-supported Euro 12 million agriculture development project launched in Georgia

Improved access to finance, better services and inputs for farmers, rural households, cooperatives and other small and medium enterprises in rural areas. These advantages – along with and improved capacities in Georgia’s Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture – are expected to make the country’s agricultural sector more competitive. Greater competitiveness is exactly the objective of a new, Euro 12 million project under the third phase of the EU-funded European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD), implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

An agreement for the five-year project – “FAO support to Georgian agricultural sector under ENPARD III” – was signed today by Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture Levan Davitashvili and FAO Representative in Georgia Raimund Jehle.

Under the terms of the agreement FAO support the Ministry in effective policy-making, and with implementation of the national Strategy for Agricultural Development 2015-2020. The project will offer pilot activities for farmers including various types of demonstration, information dissemination, and training events. Individual grants will be provided to small farmers, rural entrepreneurs, cooperatives, and other small and medium enterprises to encourage investment and improve their overall competitiveness.

Since the first phase of ENPARD for Georgia began in 2013, FAO has been implementing projects in support of agricultural development here. The first two projects provided technical assistance to the Ministry and general capacity development to Ministry staff. FAO also helped implement specific components of the Strategy for Agricultural Development 2015-2020: development of agricultural cooperation, extension services, improvement of statistical and analytical capacities, value-chain development, and climate-smart agriculture. The new project under ENPARD III will be built on the results delivered by FAO in the first two phases.

"During ENPARD I and II, FAO developed the capacities of the national stakeholders. ENPARD III will capitalize on this,” said FAO’s Jehle. “The new project will further reach out to the farmers and the processors to have better access to good agricultural practices, modern knowledge and technologies."


“The new project will further reach out to the farmers and the processors to have better access to good agricultural practices, modern knowledge and technologies."

Raimund Jehle
FAO Representative in Georgia

The signing ceremony was attended by Attaché Christina Casella, programme manager of the Delegation of European Union to Georgia. She stressed the EU’s continuous commitment to helping improve the lives of Georgian citizens by supporting agriculture and rural development in the country.

“The agreement signed today by FAO and the Ministry is the first document signed within ENPARD’s third phase, the launch of which was officially announced by the Prime Minister and the EU Ambassador in December last year,” Casella said. “Since the launch of the ENPARD programme, the EU has provided extensive support to agriculture and rural development in Georgia.”

“Over the past years, we have strongly and consistently assisted the government in building the capacity of relevant institutions and improving policy-making and implementation in the sector,” she continued. “In recent years, ENPARD has generated new production models and stimulated modern services in agriculture. According to our estimate, around one third of Georgians in rural areas have benefitted in some way from the programme. Within the recently launched third phase of ENPARD, we continue our policy and technical advice to the government to help make the agricultural sector more competitive.”

Background

The European Union is supporting rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD Programme. Aiming to reduce rural poverty, ENPARD has been implemented since 2013, with a total budget of Euro 179.5 million. The first phase of ENPARD focused on developing national agriculture potential, while the second and third phases focus on creating economic opportunities for the rural population that go beyond agricultural activities. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge

24 January 2018, Tbilisi, Georgia

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