FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Georgia recognizes achievements of EU agriculture attaché

For his dedication and effectiveness in promoting development of Georgia’s agricultural sector, European Union Agriculture Attaché Juan-Jose Echanove was awarded recently with Georgia’s Order of the Golden Fleece.

In conferring the award, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili underlined Echanove’s outstanding contribution over the past six years, including most recently as manager of the European Neighborhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) in Georgia, under which FAO is implementing the technical assistance component.

As noted during the award ceremony, Echanove has been personally involved in the work, collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture, other partners, and farmers on the ground. He has also contributed to raising awareness of the sector’s needs.

“We would like to join in sincerely congratulating Juan and express our gratitude for his valuable support to upgrading the partnership between FAO and the EU in Georgia,” said Mamuka Meskhi, Assistant FAO Representative in Georgia. “This is truly a well-deserved accolade and recognition of his contribution, and I know all our partners in the country join me in congratulating him.”

FAO is implementing two projects in Georgia under ENPARD, an initiative of the European Union to support agriculture and rural development in several neighboring countries of the Eastern Partnership – Georgia, Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine. The projects – funded by the EU and Austrian Development Cooperation – are helping Georgia’s Ministry of Agriculture and related agencies build their capacities, develop and implement the national Strategy for Agriculture Development 2015-2020, and bring relevant policies in line with those of the European Union.

FAO officers have worked intensively the Ministry with a focus on improving policies, capacities and frameworks on statistics, extension services, cooperation mechanisms among small farmers, seed certification, identification of less favorable areas, rural development, good agricultural practices, market information system, and more.

Another key element of the project is provision of on-demand advice and analytical support to the Ministry’s top management, in order to improve the quality and speed of decision-making and ensure policy effectiveness.

FAO also assisted in the preparation of a new Seed Law as well as a Seed Certification Scheme, and provided policy support in the preparation of Strategies for Cooperatives and Extension.

The Order of the Golden Fleece is awarded by Government of Georgia to individuals with foreign citizenship who have significantly contributed to country’s development. H.M. Elisabeth II – Queen of Great Britain, Gerhardt Schroeder – Chancellor of Germany, Suleyman Demirel – President of Turkey, Viktor Yushchenko – President of Ukraine, and Bartholomew II – Patriarch of Constantinople are among 22 recipients of the Order since 1999. 

21 July 2015, Tbilisi, Georgia